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NAB2015: Grass Valley reveals 4K/6X switchable camera

NAB2015: Grass Valley reveals 4K/6X switchable camera
David Wood
13 April 2015

Grass Valley has launched a new series of 4K/6X HD switchable cameras, the LDX 86 Universe, offering zoom ranges and depth of field comparable to broadcast HD system cameras.

The cameras are billed as offering unprecedented flexibility because they can be switched between higher frame rates (up to 6X), 4K and HD acquisition with a software licence upgrade.

The LDX 86 Universe series are designed to be used in tandem with the K2 Dyno Universe Replay System, optimized for 4K or 6X replay.

A Grass Valley statement said: “This first-of-its-kind system brings 4K and extreme-speed storytelling into the mainstream, enabling any camera or replay position to be set up for regular HD, 4K or extreme-speed acquisition/replay and requiring no additional positions or equipment in order to achieve this flexibility.”

Grass Valley senior vice president of strategic marketing Mike Cronk said the combination “provides unprecedented levels of creative freedom without requiring enormous additional costs”.

“What once was considered technology only for ‘specialty’ positions, can now be applied to standard replay and camera chains.

“With the combination of LDX Universe and K2 Dyno Universe, HD camera and replay positions can now become extreme-speed or even 4K positions with access to any shot, from any angle during any production.”

The LDX 86 Universe offers format flexibility with high sensitivity and dynamic range performance in all formats, with the same workflow speed.

The cameras use Grass Valley’s proprietary Xensium-FT CMOS sensors to deliver improved picture quality in 4K and extreme-speed and can cope with difficult “real world” lighting conditions.

The LDX 86 Universe can be used in any camera position where a 1X, 3X or 6X camera is required.

This includes the ability to switch the camera from 4K 1X operation to HD 6X extreme-speed operation—providing unprecedented coverage of multiple camera applications all from a single camera.

K2 Dyno Universe allows 4K production with the same amount of rack space.

Until now, 4K replay would require double the number of servers, double the rack space and double the number of replay-operators in comparison to HD; this made 4K productions impractical for most events, said Grass Valley.

The K2 Dyno Universe supports HD up to 6X and 4K operation, and offers two sizes, 4RU and 6RU, both fully 6X HD/4K switchable.

Each configuration uses the new solid-state shared storage for exceptional performance. 

System scalability is delivered by connecting multiple systems together over blazing fast 10GigE ShareFlex connectivity.

To fully support the 4K system, Grass Valley has a new fiber transmission system, the XCU XF Universe, which utilizes the same XCU cradles as its single-speed range of XCU base stations.

Because the XCU's unique cradle can be premounted and prewired in the rack, it can quickly and easily be transferred between OB vans, studios, or anywhere, which extends its usability.

US OB company Mobile TV Group has already announced the first 4K mobile production unit in North America in 2015.

MTVG’s mobile unit will include Grass Valley’s 4K camera, a Kayenne K-Frame production switcher with 4K capability and Kaleido multiviewers.

Pegasus SDN

Grass Valley has also come up with an IP networking solution for outside broadcasts with a built-in SDN module for network management.

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