Lab testing performed by Pablo Martínez and Carlos Lapuente
We have been immersed in the need to give “vision” to our radio stations for some time now. It is inevitably becoming an imperative necessity in this market marked by interaction with social networks and the creation of instant audiovisual content. There are numerous radio channels -including IB3 Radio due to my professional proximity- that need to expand and take the leap of faith to the field of vision, generating live or recorded content with their own resources within the radio studios themselves. This implies the need to provide video capture and processing elements, linked within radio systems, for the creation of “audiovisual programmes”, either to broadcast live on their respective television channels or to stream on the different social platforms we all know.
The conditioning factors of most radio studios force us to implement PTZ camera systems, due mainly to space limitations and the financial impossibility, in most cases, of having camera operators. Integrating this type of cameras allows us to perform a non-invasive intervention within the radio studio itself, occupying minimum space yet without losing the image and sound quality that we are looking for in this type of live performances or recordings. Technical and productive studies of the programme(s) need to be done to make the most of this installation.
We have many examples in this globalised world, with more or less technical means and excellent broadcasting quality. This is what we can call “Watch the Radio”.
The technical complexity of these processes involves the intervention of technical personnel trained in the domain of various systems not to mention the costs involved in their implementation and operation process.
Nowadays, there are several products on the market that allow the automation of these more or less reliable processes; an important development market to be considered.
In this laboratory, we will be analysing the system created by MULTICAM systems. MULTICAM systems is a company of French origin, created in 2010 to provide solutions for this niche market. Among other things, we will be focusing on the solution inside the MULTICAM container, Radio and Studio. We want to offer you an overview of the system and how it works. We also want to talk about the particularities and added values that this development provides us, both for the use in radio studios and for diverse environments, where an event capture system is needed, all on PTZ cameras remotely controlled from the MultiCam systems equipment itself.
As we will see, we are not only talking about a video switcher and a couple of cameras; we are facing a fascinating challenge on a productive level. We will have a complete production system interacting with the audience in social networks, content management, titling and effects. One of the great strengths of the system is the so-called “AI”, a complete system that allows us a “Full-Auto” configuration without the need for additional system operation.
LET’ S GET TO KNOW THE SYSTEM
We had a demo system for this laboratory, which was not provided by MultiCam systems. It consisted of a 19″ rack server and 3UR with 4 SDI inputs (each input is associated with a control port of the PTZ cameras), a programme output in SDI/HDMI, 4 analogue audio inputs and one AES audio input, a touchscreen screen, a configurable camera control joystick and two Lumens PTZ cameras with all the cabling required for installation. The connecting cable between the PTZ cameras and the server is a multipair cable with a BNC connector, but it also has a RJ45 network cable and a five-pin XLR connector that provides power from the server point. There is no need for a physical power point at the location of the cameras, which makes it much easier to integrate into any studio by centralising the entire distribution of peripheral elements (TPZ power supply) into the server location.
The physical connection between the different elements is perfectly identified in the server chassis, so there is no room for error when integrating the entire system on the server.
I did not actually pay too much attention to the physical integration of the server. I checked the typical parameters of the accessible location of the different connectors, the correct cooling of the system and the firm integration of the different cards in the server. Everything adapted correctly with no further pretensions. The important thing is to start the system and check how MultiCam systems’ proprietary software behaves.
Read the whole test in: