Studio Technologies @ NAB 2012
Carrying on the successful tradition set by the original Live-Link system, Live-Link Jr. offers a generous feature set coupled with excellent audio quality and a compact form factor optimized for ENG and uplink vehicle applications. Providing everything needed for a single-camera live event, Live-Link Jr. delivers performance flexibility, ease of use and support for high-quality on-air (program), talent cue (IFB) and intercom audio.
“The Live-Link Jr. Remote Camera Interface System was developed to efficiently support smaller single-camera remote production situations,” says Gordon Kapes, president of Studio Technologies. “We are constantly out in the field talking to professionals about what equipment and features they would like to have to complete a project. Live-Link Jr. was developed from these conversations and we believe the industry will respond positively, as the system solves an abundance of very real production and system deployment problems.”
Live-Link Jr. is the quintessential video, audio, communications and control data link between a camera operator in the field and a production vehicle (or fixed installation). The system transports one SDI video signal in each direction: camera end-to-truck end and truck end-to-camera end, supporting SD-, HD- and 3G-SDI data signals. All Live-Link Jr. audio and support signals are transported between camera end and truck end units as embedded SDI data. Linked using just two single-mode optical fibers, Live-Link Jr. delivers excellent operational performance regardless of the distance between the camera end and truck end units — whether hundreds of feet or miles apart. The camera end unit allows for remote powering using hybrid fiber/copper cable, 12 volt DC or Anton/Bauer® battery or "V-Mount" battery mounts. The truck end unit offers both AC and DC powering capabilities, with a failsafe flip to DC operation if the AC mains go down.
The camera end unit offers two mic/line inputs that are compatible with microphone or line-level signals. Related features include adjustable input sensitivity, phantom power and level metering. Each input stage can be independently set for compatibility with line-level signals (0 dB gain) or mic signals (gain of 15, 30 or 45 dB). Two balanced line-level outputs are provided on the truck end unit's back panel and are associated with the camera end unit's mic/line inputs. Two additional balanced line-level outputs are also located on the truck end unit's back panel to provide de-embedded analog signals associated with group 1, channels 1 and 2 of the transported SDI signal. These "convenience" outputs allow audio embedded, for example, by a camera connected to the camera end unit to be accessible without the need for an external de-embedder unit at the truck end.
A major strength of Live-Link Jr. is its integrated 2-channel intercom system, which tames the typical hassles and limitations associated with field intercom system implementation. A 2-channel party-line intercom interface is provided on both the camera end and truck end units, allowing beltpacks to be directly connected and powered. A fully functional camera end-to-truck end "comms" system can be up and running in just minutes. Additionally, two line-level audio signals can be transported from the truck end to the camera end via fiber connection, allowing for IFB communications. The balanced line/IFB inputs are located on the back panel of the truck end unit and allow the connection of a variety of analog audio signals, including talent cueing. However, unlike traditional IFB systems, the audio quality can support transporting on-air signals. For flexibility, both line-level and "wet" IFB (power and audio) outputs are provided on the camera end unit.
“Live-Link Jr. provides crystal-clear audio quality throughout the system, conforms to all relevant SMPTE® standards, successfully integrates party-line and 4-wire intercom support and uses industry-standard optical, video and audio connectors,” adds Kapes. “It also allows one contact closure to be transported in each direction. The GPI (general purpose input) on the truck end unit will correspond with the GPO (general purpose output) contact closure on the camera end unit, and vice versa. In short, Live-Link Jr. is a high-quality, versatile problem solver that can be deployed quickly and efficiently and operates flawlessly.”