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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Multicamera HD-SDI set

I designed and built this set to be used by people with a minimum of experience in TV. It had to be simple and it had to work.

The previous set the organisation used was basicly similar but then 4:3 Composite with recording onto DVcam.

For an upgrade we decided to go to HD-SDI 16:9 (1080i50). The previous cameras were 3 Sony PD170's, and as a followup we got 3 Sony NX-5's over the last 2 years. I know there are newer better cameras out now but we wanted three of the same cameras on a limited budget.

The previous vision mixer was a Panasonic AW-SW350, and I liked the look of the AW-HS50 a lot. It had a lot of features competing designs such as the ATEM don't have. It also lacks a lot of things that the ATEM does have. The multiviewer on the panasonic can be selected from different layouts, and for the money you immediatly get a physical panel. It also upconverts on inputs 3 and 4 from 576i50 and 720p50 to 1080i50. This means that we can hook up different cameras for special shots.

It also has a picture in picture function and I am using the 2 framestores for a logo. Sadly the downside is that it's not IT friendly, you can't easily upload pictures into the framestores or put movies or anything on it that you could do with the ATEM series.

Because it was designed to be as simple as possible, the cameras and the switcher ALWAYS run in HD.
I have integrated a stereo audio delay and a downconverter to output HD-SDI with analog audio, SD-SDI with analog audio (delayed) and composite video with analog audio (delayed). The last was important because they still broadcast on their internal network in analog video.

(PICTURE 1)
The set is 2 rack wide set, with the director sitting to the left and the audio guy sitting to the right. We also often hook up a Macbook pro to the DVI input, with audio going out to the audio mixer. This means we can do graphics or games or mirror an Ipad or Iphone onair..


(PICTURE 2)
The multiviewer out goes to a Blackmagic Smartview, with under that an intercom panel (ASL, partyline over XLR)


(PICTURE 3)
A simple soundcraft mixer works for us, you can see the audio delay rack. Above that is the room for the recorder, but that was not out yet, we picked the Atomos Ronin. On the first 3 channels of the audio mixer there is audio from the cameras.


(PICTURE 4)
The back of the set, this is where the cameras are attached. We use basicly cables tied together in a snake-like shell to make replacement easy. We have a HD-SDI, Tally/audio and a XLR cable running to each camera (Input 1-3). Input 4 doesn't have Tally/audio available but the intercom line is available.


(PICTURE 5)
This is the "output" panel. At the top there is the HD-SDI output with analog audio. At the bottom there is the SD-SDI and composite outputs along with analog audio. To the right there is a recorder in (So you can patch SD or HD to the recorder) and a recorder out. Recorder out is used when you want to play back what you just recorder, you usually patch it to input 4.


(PICTURE 6)
This is one of the breakout cables we use at the camera end. It has an analog audio output (1 channel) and a tally light.

Any comments or questions are welcome !
Attached Thumbnails
Multicamera HD-SDI set-odb1.jpg   Multicamera HD-SDI set-odb2.jpg  

Multicamera HD-SDI set-odb3.jpg   Multicamera HD-SDI set-odb4.jpg  

Multicamera HD-SDI set-odb5.jpg   Multicamera HD-SDI set-odb6.jpg  

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Old September 13th, 2013, 05:36 AM   #2
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

We've just purchased an older RTW peakmeter so the users can more easily see what the correct level is.. We also have an Apantac DA-HDTV-SDI on the way so we can try and use Gopro's as HD-SDI 1080i50 inputs :)
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Old September 13th, 2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

Nice job. I like the clean simple design. I use Tricaster systems to do this type of work, but on one of my systems I mapped a USB panel to emulate the switcher because the control surface is too large for area that I'm switcher from. Have you thought about any intercom? One of my systems was put together by another company for our sports league. They put in a Portacom intercom system. Surprisingly it works better than I expected since I am use to RTS and Clearcom. Good luck with it.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

We currently use the ASL intercom, it's a basic partyline intercom like clearcom or RTS over XLR cable (which can be looped from one beltpack to another).

I looked up the PortaCom you mentioned, it seems to be the same kind of system. They are pretty good to have.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

We got the Atomos Ronin in, and it seems like everything that was to be expected. I'm not sure I would buy this in a broadcast enviroment (no sync and such things) but for these purposes it's excellent.

It's very easy to operate and seems to be excellent quality. I did decide to reuse a rack mount we had lying around instead of buying the expensive Atomos one..

http://imageshack.com/scaled/1600x1200/21/hylx.jpg
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Old February 10th, 2016, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

I just got a Panasonic HS50 and a Atomos Ronin recorder for a simple 2-camera stage event kit. I want to be able to plug the house sound into one of my cameras and have that be my audio regardless of which camera is output to Program. The default setting for the HS50 seems to be to follow whichever camera is selected. Can you tell me how to change this? I am stumped!

Thanks,
Geoffrey
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Old February 10th, 2016, 05:17 PM   #7
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

I don't think that's possible... You would either have to run the audio seperatly (analog) to the Ronin, which is what we do.. Or de-embed the audio from the camera before putting it into the switcher.. Or record the house sound on one of the cameras and add it in post...

The blackmagic (HD) de-embedders are pretty cheap so that would be the "best" option using your current plan..

However, I can recommend just getting a small analog mixing desk so you can monitor levels to the recorder easily, and that enables you to add some ambience microphones or different feeds in the future..
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Old February 11th, 2016, 06:12 AM   #8
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

Hey, Thanks for the response. I considered running analog house-audio directly to the Ronin but I'm thinking they'll be sync issues. Isn't the digital video delayed compared to analog audio?

And how would de-embedding the audio work? I assume I'd connect the house-audio into the camera, run the SDI to my switching setup, then de-embed and run the audio to the Ronin. Would this give me perfect sync?

Thank you very much. I thought I had everything figured out on my all-new setup. I have a big show choir competition job coming up in a week and a half that requires me to make DVD's of 20 min performances, on-site all day for two days. It's hectic but if everything is working correctly, I can keep up with production. So, I don't have much time to mess with sync in post.

Last edited by Geoffrey Chandler; February 11th, 2016 at 07:49 AM.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 11:18 AM   #9
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

Well, just did a test in a dark auditorium and it looks like digital video over SDI sync'd with analog audio. I was remembering my days working with Firewire video and it definitely would not sync correctly. My DV 500 Datavideo switcher had a delay adjustment to fix that. In any case here's the proof:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y42H...ature=youtu.be

So it looks like, like you said, I'll need a little mixer to get ambient sound blended with the sound board.

Last edited by Geoffrey Chandler; February 11th, 2016 at 11:57 AM.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 03:50 PM   #10
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Re: Multicamera HD-SDI set

Sounds good to me.

De-embedding would indeed work as you describe it, the advantage is that you only have to run a HD-SDI line to the camera (plus whatever intercom system you use). Analog audio however is fairly cheap to run in longer distances, which should not be a problem with balanced audio.

Choir sounds like you can definatly use some microphones aimed at the audience for clapping etc, so a seperate mixer is still a good way to go :)


There is a mistake in my first post btw, it does not upconvert from 720p to 1080i.. only SD to HD..
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