News

We like to keep you up to date with our latest news and events – here’s what’s new at Vislink.

Al Jazeera Supports Post-Earthquake Communication In Nepal

During a natural disaster, such as the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on 25 April, communication infrastructure is often disrupted, and information can't get in or out of the affected region. For people in the area, and friends and family awaiting word of loved ones, news agencies often become the best place to turn for updates. Al Jazeera has been on-scene from the beginning, providing in-depth, up-to-the minute coverage and telling the story of the earthquake and its survivors.

To compensate for the loss of infrastructure, Al Jazeera has turned to satellite uplinks for reliable and high bandwidth transfer of video and data to news stations worldwide. One team is stationed in Kathmandu near Mt. Everest, reporting on the difficult conditions that is hampering rescuers abilities to evacuate climbers from the mountain. Vislink is proud to support Al Jazeera in their efforts to provide critical information to those that need it most following this tragic event.

Broadcast RF uses Vislink equipment to provide live coverage of the 2015 London Marathon

 

Broadcast RF chooses Vislink as RF solution supplier to ensure compatibility, versatility and quality coverage

When the 2015 London Marathon kicked off on Sunday 26th April, more than 38,000 participants crossed the starting line, making it the biggest in the event’s 35-year history. For the second year in a row, Broadcast RF was there with Vislink equipment to provide continuous live coverage of all 26.2 gruelling miles from Blackheath to The Mall.

To ensure top class coverage of every step of the course throughout the day, Broadcast RF and AMP Visual were relied upon by CTV OB (Outside Broadcast) and BBC Sport to provide the wireless live feeds for the event, which was viewed by a global audience of millions across 196 countries. The outside broadcast operation used a combination of fixed cameras at six OB stations, Vislink L1700 transmitters on mobile cameras, two helicopters and a fixed aircraft downlink from 22,000 feet, all linked to a central receive system at a master OB station positioned at Canada Gate.

“It was incredible to witness the dedication and organisation of Broadcast RF, AMP Visual and CTV OB throughout the days of hard work that went on behind the scenes. Vislink equipment was integral to the event coverage and is relied upon to maintain our customer’s professional reputation.”

Robert King,
Regional Sales Manager
Vislink

Broadcast RF utilised Vislink’s 2GHz L1700 wireless camera-mounted transmitters, on five motorbikes that followed the route. Frequency spectrum is in short supply at the marathon, so Broadcast RF chose the L1700 for the MPEG4/H.264 video encoding that provides an excellent picture quality over the limited bandwidth. The L1700 is also lightweight and compact, making it perfect for mobile cameras where space and weight constraints are important factors. Vislink’s proprietary Deep Time Interleaving technology enhanced the robustness of the coverage, with its advanced system of error correction designed to cope seamlessly with interruptions to the link path that inevitably occur with this type of event coverage.

“With millions of eyes worldwide tuned into the event, it’s important that the operation runs smoothly. Having Vislink as an RF equipment supplier allowed us to build a customised solution for this event. We know that all equipment is compatible with the receiver facility, are in the bandwidth and frequency required, and offers the compression schemes needed to transmit quality images over the congested spectrum. We are always judged on our last performance and our reputation relies on having top quality equipment solutions, to ensure repeat business.”

Chris Brandrick
Sales Director
Broadcast RF

Stationary cameras at the OB station were complimented with handheld radio cameras using Vislink L1700s, which allowed cameramen to get down next to the runners and do interviews with fun runners, charity runners and celebrities alike. Two helicopter cameras were also deployed along the route, transmitting video feeds to a fixed wing aircraft circling the route at 22,000 feet. Two RF downlinks delivered the video from the aircraft at 3GHz via Vislink’s proprietary 24MHz wide LMS-T modulation scheme to a customised diversity receiver system at the master OB TV compound.

“We have worked with Broadcast RF for many years on a variety of events, and it was very exciting seeing their live coverage of the London Marathon. Vislink was pleased to work with the Broadcast RF Project Manager and engineering team to develop and support the best possible solution to ensure not a minute of the race was missed.”

Ashley Dove,
VP of Solutions
Vislink

 

Vislink And GoPro Announce Official Launch Of HEROCast HD wireless Transmitter At NAB 2015

Vislink's smallest, lightest, and most energy-efficient HD wireless transmitter will revolutionize live sports and broadcasts

Vislink, the global provider of broadcast communications equipment, in conjunction with GoPro, today announced the launch of the HEROCast at NAB 2015, a miniature transmitter that allows GoPro HERO3+Black and HERO4 cameras to broadcast live, HD wireless video for the first time.

Building on the partnership announced between Vislink and GoPro in January, the HEROCast is a result of joint development efforts to make GoPro's product range suitable for live broadcasting. Designed to bring viewers closer to the action than ever before, the HEROCast has already been successfully used to broadcast NHL games in February and the 2015 X Games in Aspen.

The HEROCast lets broadcasters deliver new and unique perspectives from live events. The range of new camera positions that can be adopted with GoPro cameras that feature Vislink's live HD wireless transmitter, will allow the viewer to gain many new live immersive experiences.

Vislink's wireless HD transmitter uses less energy than any other transmitter on the market, leading to smaller size, longer battery life and 'cool' operation. Designed with flexibility in mind, the HEROCast is specifically tailored to be compatible with existing GoPro equipment and can be positioned in multiple locations, including within the HERO BacPac housing for water resistant usage.

"Vislink's partnership with GoPro is the continuation of our ongoing goal to develop the most innovative and unique live broadcast products on the market. With the explosion in demand for action content and higher quality video, today's viewers demand the most immersive experience possible, which the HEROCast delivers. It brings to market a completely new way to watch live sports and special events - including from the unique perspective of the athlete."
Simon Derry,
CEO of Vislink Communication Systems

The HEROCast is available in two options, providing users with the flexibility to choose the right form factor for their specific needs:

1. HEROCast standalone transmitter: mount the camera on your helmet or chest for a first-hand view of the action.

2. HEROCast BacPac integrated transmitter: using our three-way mount, the solution includes a transmitter and antenna for integral action viewing.

Vislink will be at NAB 2015 (booth C6008) with live demonstrations and more information.

Vislink To Launch Expanded Live Broadcast Product Range At NAB 2015

Includes new industry-first H.265 hardware codec, third-generation reverse camera control system, and Reporter News Gathering Vehicle, to meet growing industry demand for greater efficiency and portability

Vislink, the global provider of broadcast communications equipment, today announced the launch of two new products - the UltraCoder H.265 encoder and FocalPoint reverse camera control unit - in addition to its unique cellular/IP satellite newsgathering vehicle, at NAB 2015.

The UltraCoder is the industry's first HEVC/H.265 video compression hardware encoder, specifically designed for efficient 4K compression. The space-efficient, rack-mounted unit lets users transmit at their current video quality using half the bandwidth, or double the video quality at the same bandwidth, delivering cost savings of up to 50% when used in conjunction with a satellite communication. For broadcasters not yet capturing video in 4K, the encoder also has the ability to encode up to four live HD channels in H.265, plus one additional HD channel in H.264.

FocalPoint is Vislink's third-generation reverse camera control unit, now featuring support for multiple camera and operator control panel combinations. The bi-directional system includes a rack-mounted indoor unit, weatherproof outdoor UHF transmitter, and compact UHF data receiver which attaches directly to the camera. This system works with several Sony models and the Hitachi RU1500, and is compatible with Vislink's existing Gigawave product line.

The Reporter News Vehicle is powered by Vislink's NewStream technology and was built specifically to address growing demand from the industry for smaller profile, vehicle-based news gathering. The Reporter is equipped with Vislink's NewStream IDU and Cellular ODU. The high-performance multi-channel cellular transmitter provides exceptional video transmission stability and quality, and when bonded with Ka or Ku band IP satellite the solution provides industry-leading versatility. The system provides bi-directional communication capabilities, is fully IP-video ready, and also includes broadcast workstation capabilities.

"These strategic investments in our product range demonstrate Vislink's commitment to satisfying its customer's needs. By addressing key market requirements such as 4K compression ahead of time, Vislink is helping ensure its global user base stays at the forefront of what's possible with wireless broadcast technology."
Mike Payne,
President of Vislink Americas and Vislink Global CTO

Vislink is now accepting orders for the above products, and will be at NAB 2015 (booth C6008) to present demonstrations and discuss the new product lines. The Reporter News Vehicle will be stationed outside the Las Vegas Convention Center by the front entrance.

TV Pro Gear Delivers The Future Of ENG Vehicles Vislink Microwave Equipment Included In Unique Vehicle Design

It looked like something straight out of a science fiction movie - a brand new, first-of-its-kind ENG news vehicle recently made an appearance at GISL-TV4 in Trinidad. TV Pro Gear designed and built the vehicle as part one of a phased approach to upgrading GISL's entire station to HD.

Vehicles over 33' feet are forbidden in Trinidad due to the tight winding roads. System integration company TV Pro Gear had to find a way to get the functionality of 40' truck in a 33' vehicle without sacrificing ergonomics and operator comfort.

President of TV Pro Gear, Andrew Maisner stated, "In the past, video recorders, routers and signal distribution gear required a large amount of equipment rack space. As technology has been progressing, the equipment has gotten smaller, less power hungry and less noisy. This allowed us to eliminate the machine room by putting all of the equipment in and under the production consoles. As a result, despite the reduced size of the vehicle, the main control room is still quite spacious."

GISL-TV4 will be using the truck to capture video from live broadcast sports, concerts and political events. Viewers will be able to enjoy HD quality broadcast images in real-time, thanks to Vislink's microwave transmitter atop the mast, and two repeaters strategically placed on area mountaintops.

"Vislink's sales and engineering staff were incredibly helpful in planning out the microwave transmission portion of this project. Their support ensured that the microwave system would be second to none."
President,
TV Pro Gear,
Andrew Maisner
"It is exciting to support GISL-TV4 in their transition to HD. We were pleased to collaborate with TV Pro Gear to design and deliver a dynamic and flexible microwave transmission solution for this project."
Andrew Larsen,
Director of Sales - Latin America & Mexico,
Vislink

Vislink’s AirStream 2.0 Provides One-Touch, Rapid Response Live Newsgathering And Event Coverage

Live Streaming is Easier than Ever with Increased Performance, Extended Range, and TVU Grid Interface Capabilities

Vislink, Inc., today announced the availability of AirStream 2.0, the next generation of its portable cellular transmitter for high quality, live video streaming. Airstream 2.0, with 50% improved 4G LTE performance and 'one-touch to air' functionality, meets the increasing need for broadcasters to rapidly deliver live coverage from any location with minimal equipment.

In addition to the performance improvements, the product now features TVU Grid interface capabilities. A Vislink receiver ingests AirStream 2.0 transmissions, and distributes them to the TVU Grid providing point-to-point and point-to-multipoint functionality. The Grid network provides a connection to video sources and distribution points that allows users to share live video content instantly to anywhere in the world that has access to a Grid-accessible device.

AirStream 2.0 incorporates modems that enhance cellular performance through tower switching and hopping capabilities. For example:

  • In areas with poor cellular coverage, AirStream 2.0 will automatically connect to the tower at the optimal data rate based on the cellular service available, 3G or full 4G LTE.
  • If the closest cellular tower is congested, such as when there is a large event, the transmitter is able to reach out to the next available tower in range to ensure continued streaming.
  • If streaming while in a moving vehicle, AirStream 2.0 will automatically tower switch as the vehicle travels through different coverage areas.

AirStream 2.0 is now easier to use and more versatile than ever. The front panel touchscreen provides one-touch to air capabilities and Vislink now supports a broader spectrum of carriers, so the unit can be used in even more countries.

For video professionals on the move, AirStream 2.0 is the solution for delivering live, streaming video shots from anywhere with cellular service, at any time and to anyone in the world.

"Live streaming via cellular bonding is a lower-cost and rapidly deployable alternative to microwave or satellite newsgathering, and provides a viable approach for coverage of non-traditional markets, such as school sporting events, local politics and extreme sports. AirStream 2.0 delivers exceptional performance in both stationary and mobile applications making it easier than ever to produce live, broadcast quality, IP video for distribution anywhere. Additionally, our partnership with TVU Networks increases the distribution capabilities through the TVU Grid."
Michael Payne,
President,
Vislink Americas

Vislink Announces Global Launch Of ENG Platform

To cater for the global broadcast market, Vislink's NewStream, the multi-mode mobile vehicle transmission system, is being launched internationally.

The NewStream cellular outdoor unit features a new antenna array providing greater than 72 percent efficiency across all cellular bands, Vislink said. The upgraded NewStream is also equipped with a universal modem design for use on a variety of frequency bands outside the United States.

As part of the Vislink portfolio, the NewStream can integrate with a variety of other Vislink uplink products for additional data and video applications. NewStream features a vendor-agnostic design to provide multichannel support to any existing newsgathering system, the vendor said.

The NewStream also complements Vislink's range of portable point-to-point microwave broadcast equipment as well as the portable and rugged MSAT satellite data terminal.

As part of the Vislink portfolio, the NewStream can easily integrate with a variety of other Vislink uplink products for additional data and video applications. Designed to meet both current and future demands, and based on a future-proof platform, the NewStream also offers broadcasters a clear upgrade path to multi-channel newsgathering. With a vendor-agnostic design, the NewStream can easily provide multi-channel support to any existing newsgathering system.

The NewStream also complements Vislink's broad range of portable point-to-point microwave broadcast equipment as well as the portable and rugged MSAT satellite data terminal, ideal for first-on-scene satellite newsgathering.

The NewStream is ready to ship and initial orders are already being filled. For more information on the NewStream system, or any other Vislink product, visit Vislink at CABSAT 2015, Stand G3-30.

"The NewStream is a multi-mode system intended to give today's broadcasters the flexibility to transmit multiple video streams at once, with its cellular, microwave and satellite transmission capabilities, and the ability to operate on multiple frequency bands, the NewStream offers the ultimate newsgathering platform through a single, compact rack mounted unit."
Michael Payne,
Vislink,
President of the Americas and Group CTO

From Scene To 4K Screen

Technology trends over the last year have travelled in the direction of bigger, better, faster and higher quality. We saw it with the growth of HD, and we are now seeing the same trend with 4K Ultra HD technology. There is no question that the future of TV viewing is 4K Ultra HD - consumers will continue to demand better picture quality and TV manufacturers will respond. 4K is the natural progression of technology advancement in relation to viewing monitor resolution. With four times the number of pixels per inch as 1080p60, images are clearer, more detailed, and of better clarity, and 4K televisions are slowly making their way onto the market.

Consumers are also demanding greater flexibility to when and how they watch television. Internet streaming of IP encapsulated video to televisions and peripheral devices has become a mainstream method of video consumption.

HD signals (1920 x 1080) are composed of 2 million pixels, while a 4K signal (3840 x 2160) is comprised of 8 million pixels. As a result, an important issue quickly becomes apparent: 4K has four times the resolution, and subsequently requires four times the amount of data to move video across the network, which quadruples the amount of bandwidth required to transmit when compared with HD.

The increased bandwidth required to transmit video at 4K translates to higher costs for cable and internet companies. At present, streaming HD content is already taxing network video traffic. As more and more videos are provided to viewers at 4K, the bandwidth required to stream the video will increase demand on cable providers, who may begin imposing bandwidth limits on consumers. This will dramatically increase buffering times for online 4K content viewing.

To counter this effect, engineers have been hard at work on better compression techniques that will reduce the bandwidth required to transmit data. Much like 4K is to next generation video, H.265 (also known as HEVC) is the next generation of video compression.

By employing advanced encoding techniques, and combining them with sophisticated modulation schemes, H.265 requires less bandwidth for transmission. H.265 is expected to deliver the same, or even superior, picture quality for both HD/SD and 4K resolutions, at up to a 50 per cent reduction in bitrate versus its predecessors, MPEG-4/H.264. There are a number of microwave transmission technologies that can be used to compensate for the remaining 25 per cent of additional bandwidth.

For example, in point-to-point microwave or satcom applications, DVB-S2X (DVB-S2 with extensions) enables steeper roll-offs in the modulation scheme enabling more carriers to be squeezed into the available bandwidth.

Also, for non line-of-sight MIMO (multi-input multi-output) OFDM transmission techniques can be used to increase throughput by utilising multiple antenna techniques with antenna de-correlation to create two independent video streams.

Other improvements can be achieved using LDPC (low density parity check codes) FEC techniques can alternatively be used to help offset the additional 4K bandwidth. LMS-T modulation techniques with LDPC codes increases data throughput for a comparative signal to noise ratio.

Additionally, LTE technology, as used in 4G cellular transmissions, can be utilised in private frequency bands for local networks.

To make way for broadcasting 4K efficiently and cost effectively, encoders and decoders will need to incorporate H.265 compression schemes. There is some debate over the timeline of implementation and adoption, but some equipment manufacturers are already developing encoders with H.265 compression capabilities.

Much of the focus has been on last mile delivery of video (ie, to playout devices via IP or cable). However, H.265 will also play an important role in the collection of video from the field, as better compression and modulation schemes will result in lower bandwidth requirements for broadcasters. For example, the impact on cellular newsgathering would be beneficial. Right now, cellular transmitters can stream in HD, but with H.265, they would be able to deliver the same quality video at half the bandwidth, lowering the cost and improving the quality of transmission.

By Ashley Dove, General Manager, Vislink

Super Bowl XLIX Delivers Most Viewers Ever; AVS Provides Wireless Video Coverage Using VISLINK Transmitters

Football fans worldwide experienced a seesaw of emotions watching the 2015 Super Bowl, a true nail-biter featuring the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. The game came down to the last 2 minutes of the game, when Patriot's quarterback Tom Brady threw a touchdown to put the Patriots up 28-24. With just 20 seconds to go, the Seahawks had pushed downfield to within a yard of the goal line, and with one of the best running backs in the league, looked like they might just win the game.

It was not to be. Over 114 million people sat on the edge of their seats, holding their breath as Seattle chose a pass play, which was intercepted at the goal line by Patriots' defensive back Malcolm Butler, giving the Patriots their fourth Super Bowl win.

Fans the world over were treated to crystal clear, 1080i/60p video of the action the second it happened thanks to Aerial Video Systems (AVS), who provided wireless camera technology for the game. They utilized VISLINK wireless camera systems to transmit the video to the production studio. With a sub-second delay time (between 40-45 milliseconds), the production staff was able to switch between wired and wireless cameras without worrying about gaps or redundancy in the footage.

"We've been providing wireless technology for over 30 years for many of the nation's top sports and entertainment events, The Vislink cameraback transmitter is our top choice to cover events. It provides production crews with full mobility throughout the venue and delivers the performance our clients need to ensure a successful live televised event."
Randy Hermes, AVS President
"Here in New England we were all on the edge of our seats watching the game, it is especially satisfying to know our technology enables our clients to provide the widest and highest quality live video coverage during these high profiled and valued events. Once again, our partner AVS delivered an exceptional viewer experience."
Michael Payne, VISLINK's President of the Americas

GoPro And NHL: New Partnership Will Change The Way You Watch Hockey

In an unprecedented first for GoPro, a new partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) will bring hockey fans closer to the action on the ice than ever before. Beginning with this weekend's NHL All-Star Skills Competition and All-Star Game, the NHL will use GoPro cameras to deliver viewers never-before-seen perspectives of the game.

The partnership will capitalize on the recent announcement of GoPro's Professional Broadcast Solution, developed in collaboration with Vislink, which enable GoPro HERO4 cameras with a professional, live, HD wireless broadcast capabilities. The solution will be showcased during the NHL All-Star Weekend and provide real-time content in the live broadcast of these events.

Joining forces with the NHL and tapping into new GoPro and Vislink live broadcast technology will fundamentally change the way we view sports on television. We cannot wait for you to see it all come to life this weekend!

The NHL All-Star Skills Competition will air on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 7pm EST (NBC, CBC and TVA Sports) and the All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 5pm EST (NBC, CBC and TVA Sports) so be sure to watch and witness this huge next step in GoPro and NHL history.