Editor’s Note: This is the last part of a three part series.
In previous articles, I have covered the cabling infrastructure of HD broadcast studio and portable cameras. Another very exciting camera design is POV (point-of-view). With its standardization on HD, usage of 3G, and its pioneering of 3D, there is nowadays serious competition in sports broadcasting between different kinds of sports. TV viewers like to see thrilling moments, and TV networks need high ratings to grow their advertising revenues. POV cameras are able to help sports events become an even more spectacular viewing experience than ever.
Editor’s Note: This is part two of a three part series.
As said in my previous blog broadcast cameras operate on either hybrid fiber (SMPTE311) or triax cables. The professional broadcast market has started to standardize on HD for studio production and on 3G for sports events. 3D is pioneered in some movies and international sports events (e.g. Olympics and Football Worldcup) and will create another era of broadcasting. Keep that in mind camera teams have the need to deliver all formats with no downtime – easy to handle and highest quality products are needed. On the other side the new fiber cabling infrastructure will add cost compared to the traditional use of triax cabling infrastructure. To solve this problem, Belden has especially designed products which help to lower total cost of ownership and reduce service and maintenance costs.
Editor’s Note: This is part one of a three part series.
There are basically two ways to transmit an HD signal from the camera head to the base station: triax or SMPTE311 hybrid fiber cable. A triax cable carries multiple signals over a solid or stranded conductor surrounded by an inner shield and an outer shield. It was first used publicly at the Dorado Open Golf Tournament in Miami in 1975, and was the de facto camera standard by the time ABC covered the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.
The first European high definition TV test transmissions were made at the IBC exhibition ten years ago. It has taken a while, but nowadays every organization involved in the broadcast industry is renewing or updating its equipment to HD.
So what exactly is HD? Its full name is actually HD-SDI, and it is a sub-set of the SDI (Serial Digital Interface) family of video interfaces standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). SDI, which is covered by the SMPTE standard 259M, comes in many versions, the most common being 4×3 image, 270 Mbps (135 MHz clock), 480p (progressive).
HD-SDI itself is covered by SMPTE 292M, and comes in two versions, 1080i (interlaced) or 720p, both with a 16×9 image. But the next step is already on its way:1080p/60 (1080p/50 in Europe), which is covered in SMPTE 424M.
The first AES (Audio Engineering Society) convention I ever attended was 1968 in Los Angeles. At the AES that year were a dozen or so exhibitors. One was a guy named Ray Dolby who was showing his revolutionary “Type A” noise reduction, one channel of which took maybe 7 rack units?! Across from him was Paul Klipsch showing his “Heresy” bookshelf speaker (since he only believed in horn loaded speaker designs). Of course, I didn’t know that I was seeing history in the making, that these people were the icons of audio. How little we know when we are young and foolish. (Now I am old and foolish.) I snuck in to the AES show in 1968. I joined AES in 1969. Read more
Last month I visited a leading system integrator for TV studios and outside broadcast (OB) trucks. It is always impressive to see how full these trucks are packed with equipment for audio, video, intercoms, air conditioning and satellite dishes – and don’t forget the workspace for a crew of up to 25 people! Everything needs to be well thought-out to be clean, compact and super-efficient. In the end, this is a fully functioning professional TV studio on wheels… with two limitations: one, there’s much less space than in a permanent creation, production and delivery area; and two, there are the over-the-road axle weight requirements. Read more
Brand marketers have seen the effectiveness of traditional TV spot advertising fall in recent years. The growth of sponsorship as a marketing tool is one consequence of this trend. However, sport must compete for sponsors’ money with other forms of content such as music, the arts and cause-related marketing, each of which offers a compelling alternative. Total viewer figures are what count when TV channels try to sell their advertising package to brand marketers, and sports are the number one supplier of viewers. On the other hand, the sports world needs to attract a large number of viewers to be important for the broadcasters. Each country has its own favorite sports: Bull-fighting is Spain-only. Handball and Horse-Racing aren’t attractive in Scandinavian countries, where they prefer Ice Hockey and Ski-Jumping. The most attractive sports in the EMEA region are Football, Rugby, Formula One Racing, Tennis, and Golf. The Summer/Winter Olympics and Football European/World Cup bring all countries together in one place. Read more
We recently received a letter from Jim Schultz in Warren, CT and thought we’d share:
I have been meaning to write for almost a year now to extol the virtues of this excellent microphone cable.
30+ years ago, when I was doing broadcast and remote work aside from my “regular” job of air personality, production director and assistant CE for an AM/FM combo here in Western CT, I decided to bite the bullet, spend some money, and make up some microphone cables that would last for a while. I bought a 500 foot roll of 8412, a bunch of Switchcraft XLRs, and went to work making up 10 fifty footers. Read more
If you play with coax, short for coaxial cable, you probably know this it is available in a number of different impedances. The most common is 75 ohm, like video cable or antenna cable, but in fact our products range from 32 ohms up to 124 ohms.
Why all these different numbers? It’s not an accident of course, and there is a reason for each one. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at 50 ohm coax cable.
Belden makes hundreds of 50 ohm cables, including a whole line of ultra-low loss versions (Belden 7805 to Belden 7977). The two largest versions (Belden 7976 and 7977) are shown in the photograph below. They are HUGE. The 7977 has a diameter of .600″ six-tenths of an inch! This is the largest coax cable that we make.
But first of all, why 50, or any other number? The answer can be shown in the graph below. This was produced by two researchers, Lloyd Espenscheid and Herman Affel, working for Bell Labs in 1929. Read more