Over two years ago Vislink brought its first end-to-end 4K UHD encoding/decoding solution to the market, which was used on a live helicopter downlink to obtain the world’s first live 4K video from the air, before being deployed in helicopters for the live broadcast of UEFA EURO 2016. This week they have been conducting the first field tests of the next generation 4K solution: the HCAM, a compact wireless transmitter; and the UltraReceiver, a half-width 1U rack mount integrated receiver and decoder.
Whilst their first solution, the UltraCoder and UltraDecoder, filled a requirement in the market at that time, the demands of broadcasters and improvements in technology have resulted in the development of new products. Both of the new units feature very low latency (which is absolutely vital when needing to match wired and wireless pictures), well established Vislink features such as their proprietary LMS-T modulation scheme with its robust signal handling, as well as the high quality picture processing customers have come to expect from Vislink equipment.
The HCAM is equipped with interchangeable, futureproof, dual SFP modules supporting a variety of interfaces.
With new systems and technologies there are always challenges to overcome and to ensure that products meet specifications the aim is to always start testing as soon as possible, and whilst Vislink engineers are employing test driven development, there’s no substitute to using the hardware in anger. For them, working next to a golf course has its many benefits, and testing is one of them – they can put kit on a golf buggy and easily test for transmission integrity over distance and where lines of site are restricted, plus there is always plenty of wildlife to focus on.
It was also a chance to ensure they could interface correctly with one of the latest 4K cameras on the market, in this case the excellent Sony PXW-Z450 Camcorder, which was a delight to use and with which there were no issues.
For the test today we were on hand to assist and help ensure that the exact needs of the many broadcasters around the world could be met. We are more than aware of what broadcasters want and we also have a vested interest in seeing the HCAM working, having already pre-ordered eighteen systems.