GPS antenna tracker with new features

HDwireless introduces second generation of a successful system

At the beginning of last year, HDwireless presented the prototype of a GPS-controlled antenna tracker. After successful test runs, a first series of trackers was produced. The system supported wireless camera transmissions with live images from vehicles at the receiver end or also the high-frequency radio transmission with relay aircraft over very long distances. Under the name HDwireless GPS Antenna Tracker, the exact and automated reception technology was also used in numerous projects to maximize the radio range. Due to the positive deployment experience, HDwireless is currently developing an enhanced version of the tracker with new features in hardware and software. In addition to the well-known precise spatial orientation, the RF technician will in future have access to all information about signal strength, alignment and hardware monitoring. For example, the GPS antenna tracker is often set apart on a working platform at very high altitudes for the best possible reception of the camera and data signals. In future, the program interface will display all relevant operating data graphically. The system also maps the current positions of the wireless camera systems in use via Google Earth. The “Traveled Path Recording” continuously records all GPS positions for analysis in ongoing production and displays them in the geographical map. Using Web Access, the production data is made available via the Internet for a transparent monitoring. The market launch of the new system will take place in late autumn 2018.

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HDwireless broadcasts world premiere of MAN

Video transmission over 150 kilometers of autonomous driving trucks

On the 25th of June, MAN had the world premiere of truck platooning, the autonomous driving in convoy, on the A9 from Munich to Nuremberg with public traffic. For HDwireless it was an extensive project with cameras in moving trucks as well as on the ground and in the air along the freeway. All wireless camera signals were received and transmitted over the entire route at the positioned relay radio stations in Wolnzach and Hilpoltstein. This required a precise pre-planning. HDwireless Managing Director and Project Manager Patrick Nußbaum explains the successful RF concept and frequency management: “Our RF transmitter stations were located on two 70-meter-high cherry-pickers at calculated positions along the A9. They received the RF signals from the relay helicopter that was tracking the trucks”. The transmission of various wireless cameras in the trucks and an additional camera helicopter was possible without interruption. Also the RF communication was managed by HDwireless. Patrick Nußbaum: “We rent all the relevant RF components, so that the customer gets everything from one source. In this project, we deployed wireless camera systems, RF transmission technology, and team and production communication with Clear-Com HelixNet“. Via satellite uplink, the live images were transmitted to Neufahrn near Munich for an event at DB Schenker, the logistics service provider and MAN research partner. At the DB Schenker premises, the event guests were able to follow the world premiere of truck platooning on the A9.

 

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HDwireless with HelixNet and FreeSpeak II

A complete solution for production communication from Clear-Com

HDwireless is now expanding its wireless communications product portfolio with Clear-Com HelixNet and Clear-Com FreeSpeak II for broadcast and event projects. In addition to wireless camera systems and camera controls, HDwireless now offers this innovative communication solution for directing and production teams. The wireless intercom systems of the manufacturer Clear-Com stand for reliability with the highest audio quality. The usability is easy and intuitive. The stationary Clear-Com HelixNet is modularly expandable and can be connected to other communication systems. Freespeak II, on the other hand, is mobile with wireless headsets and beltpacks for up to 4 channels and with a battery life of 18 hours. Clear-Com’s HDwireless intercom systems make on-the-spot communication a secure business.

 

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HDwireless Adopts 4k Broadcasting Technology

Pioneering Products for the Rental Portfolio

HDwireless is now offering 4k wireless camera systems. This means that customer requirements for high-frequency video transmission in native 4k resolution can be met during broadcasts, events, and trade fairs. The new HDwireless HCAM system uses, among other things, the Grass Valley LDX 86N/C86N camera head and cameras from Sony, Ikegami and Panasonic, which offers a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels using Canon 4k optics. The RF transmitter encodes in H265 (HEVC) and is compatible with 3G/6G/12G SDI as well as SDI/HD SDI formats. Several frequency bands between 1.95 GHz and 7.6 GHz are available for the wireless transmission of video signals with a transmission power of between 10 mW and 250 mW. This facilitates data rates of up to 31.7 MBit for DVB-T modulation and up to 43 MBit for LMS-T modulation. The latency of the wireless transmission is extremely low in the current HEVC coding, meaning that HDwireless HCAM is capable of being used in a camera network. The 4k wireless camera system is ideal for providing high-resolution, high-quality live broadcasts and all future applications in 4k resolution. Detailed product information is available at www.hdwireless.tv. HDwireless is a leading provider in terms of both the rental and sale of wireless camera systems. The equipment portfolio is constantly expanding and offers a practical range of camera and HF transmission technology covering every aspect of wireless camera transmission.

 

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HDwireless logo redesign

The new logo’s dynamic appearance stands for advancement and underlines the company’s brand image. Wireless Camera Solution characterizes the vast spectrum of state-of-the-art wireless camera and signal transmission in every dimension. The HDwireless portfolio matches requirements of customers in the fields of broadcast, event, and trade fair. Many of the radio technologies in use have been developed in-house, consistently focusing on practical use. The new logo of HDwireless confidently reflects this image.

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Extensive Video Transmission of Semper Opera Ball

HDwireless Provides Wireless Camera Broadcasting for MDR in Dresden

“Magical Dresden – having a ball.” This was the motto of the 13th Semper Opera Ball. 2,500 guests inside the opera house and several thousand visitors on the Theater Square attended this social event which took place on January 26, 2018. An extensive stage program, prominent guests and many visitors to the ball made the event an unforgettable experience. The Central German Broadcasting Company, MDR, broadcast the ball featuring an action-packed program live on television. A team from HDwireless, commissioned by MDR, was on hand to provide extensive coverage using wireless cameras. Following intensive preliminary planning for the RF transmission in close cooperation with their client, the technicians devised an end-to-end solution for MDR involving connection to several OB trucks.

A few HDwireless GV INCAM-G handheld cameras and a Steadicam solution based on HDwireless GV INCAM-G Compact were used to transmit live images of the stage, the orchestra seats and the balconies to various antenna locations in the theater. Other wireless cameras transmitted images from the red carpet and the celebrations taking place in front of the opera house, which were then broadcast live in the ballroom and on a large video screen in the Theater Square, as well as being part of the MDR broadcast. HDwireless had stationed RF transmission and receiver technology in outside areas too. A further wireless camera was deployed to capture shots of the outdoor event and a big fireworks display in the sky above the opera house. Using a special point-to-point radio system set up at the Hausmannsturm to the south of the opera house, this wireless camera was able to provide bird’s-eye images of the event. Looking back on the impressive ball in Dresden featuring extensive wireless camera transmission, Patrick Nußbaum summarized the event as follows: “Every year, the Semper Opera Ball inspires both its guests and viewers by emitting a fantastic atmosphere – both in the opera house and on the Theater Square in front of it. The host of live images captured by our wireless cameras for the MDR TV program brought the atmosphere to life. This was possible thanks to precise planning in advance and well-coordinated teamwork with the customer on site”.

 

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HDwireless RF1 covers “Christkindlesmarkt”

Live broadcast in Nuremberg using wireless cameras

The Nuremberg “Christkindlesmarkt” starts with the traditional opening ceremony delivered by the “Christkind” (Infant Jesus) from the gallery of the “Frauenkirche” (Church of Our Lady). Around 20,000 visitors gathered at the main market square watched the traditional opening on December 1, which was broadcast live by the Bavarian Broadcasting channel during their “Abendschau” program starting at 5:30 p.m. The BR production vehicles as well as an AKK-TV OB truck were in position at the neighboring fruit market. Directly adjacent to these was the HDwireless RF1, the mobile RF production unit used for broadcasting the wireless live video. Three members of the HDwireless production team were working on location. The company from Mechernich near Cologne carried out the wireless camera transmission across the entire Christkindlesmarkt using three camera systems, two radio displays and by providing the radio operation required for the production. This meant that two independent BR teams of presenters were able to report live and on the move during the broadcast from various locations at the market. HDwireless had set up several antennae at the main market in order to provide the wireless network. On the one hand, antennas were in place in order to receive the image and sound signals transmitted by the wireless camera systems and, on the other hand, transmitting antennas provided the program signal for the radio displays. Consequently, the hosting presenters were able to follow the progress of the live broadcast at the square at all times. The entire video and high-frequency connection was created by the on-site team through means of a real-time fiber optic network that they had installed themselves. This included components of the HDwireless RFiber signal conversion technology. The entire RF signal traffic for image, sound, camera control and production communication was received, transmitted and controlled by the HDwireless RF1 production vehicle. At the end of the one-hour “Abendschau”, the stable 100% network coverage in the broadcasting area around the main market affirmed the effectiveness of the RF planning and calculation for all radio frequencies used.

 

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HDwireless on German Unity Day

Networked Wireless Camera Transmission on Behalf of ARD

This year, the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate hosted the official celebration of German Unity Day in Mainz. ARD and SWR provided radio and television coverage of the event. Celebrations and events took place all over downtown, all of which were broadcast on television. HDwireless was commissioned by Südwestrundfunk (Southwest Broadcasting) to carry out comprehensive wireless camera transmission from various locations during the program.

The HDwireless RF1 production vehicle was used to achieve this, with all wireless camera signals being merged centrally. HDwireless built an RF transmission network in order to be able to cover the many places where live coverage was carried out. This was done in close consultation with the SWR Technical Director, Helmut Kremer. Several wireless camera systems were used to transmit live images of the official program, which was centered around Mainz Cathedral, as well as other celebrations that took place downtown. This transmission was carried out either using a Steadicam or handheld camera. Patrick Nussbaum, CEO of HDwireless, had the following to say: “Precise knowledge of the requirements and wishes of the editors was of utmost importance during this production. Reliable and latency-free wireless networking was required for the many venues in Mainz. In order to achieve this, we installed an IP-based ASI network and combined this with our HDwireless RFiber fiber-optic technology.”

The company also provided the radio communication for the mobile camera teams and the OB truck director. This meant that the HDwireless RF1 production vehicle, which is equipped with a 12-meter-high antenna mast, was able to handle all on-site radio communication requirements.

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HDwireless RF1 Used for “Dirndl! Fertig! Los!”

Premiere for HDwireless RF Production Vehicle in Munich

HDwireless RF1 acts as the interface between wireless camera systems and OB trucks for broadcast productions. All signals coming from the entire radio system are received in the truck and then transferred to the broadcaster following signal conversion and decoding. Recently, the video technology in the production vehicle has been developed further to encompass the universal 3G-SDI standard and so that it is suitable for 4k settings. The RF structure has also been expanded by multiple RF distribution units and “RF over fiber” solutions. This means that up to 16 wireless camera systems, including camera control, can be processed in parallel by means of the signal and process structure. Using this state-of-the-art equipment, the successful first use of the newly equipped RF production vehicle took place in Munich on September 16, 2017, for the MDR production Dirndl! Fertig! Los!

On set were a HDwireless ULC steadicam, three handheld cameras and a remote camera positioned far away on the tower of St. Paul’s Church, which is located several kilometers away. All wireless camera systems for the live production from Circus Krone with the presenter Florian Silbereisen were equipped with Grass Valley LDX camera heads and RF transmitters. Every part of the Circus Krone arena and its interior surfaces were covered by a central antenna structure. A relay radio station, which was located on the roof of the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Company) building, was required for the camera on the church tower due to the large distance. As well as transmitting the camera signals, HDwireless was responsible for team communication, which was also put into effect by means of the transmitting and receiving systems of RF1. Patrick Nußbaum, CEO of HDwireless, had the following to say about the event: “RF1 fully meets our expectations. The production vehicle is an excellent all-in-one solution for high-frequency radio transmissions of all sizes. We are delighted to have received positive feedback about RF1 and our solutions from our customers.”

 

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HDwireless Onboard Cameras in High Demand at IAA

Numerous wireless camera systems broadcasting live images from vehicles

The IAA in Frankfurt is the leading trade fair in the automotive industry. Manufacturers present their vehicle studies, prototypes and new models during numerous press conferences and special events. The live broadcast on LED screens or directly on the internet is an important part of these events. Broadcasting technology featuring professional cameras, switchers, periphery and OB trucks is often used. Live images from moving vehicles are often a key aspect of these presentations. The wireless camera specialist HDwireless from Mechernich near Cologne is specialized in exactly this field. This year, it installed a total of 15 onboard cameras and imaging systems in vehicles with very different requirements for a number of IAA exhibitors. Almost invisible HD cameras showed the interior of an autonomously driving prototype during a press conference. Vehicles driving along a test track were fitted with wireless cameras, which broadcast subjective camera perspectives.

Live images of driving and braking maneuvers from test cars in the outdoor arena were broadcast live to viewers on a large LED screen. Tanguy Heintz, Project Manager at HDwireless explained: “Although the applications are different, the implementation follows a standard procedure: All HDwireless onboard cameras transmitted live HD images to their receiving stations using high-frequency radio signals. Our customers attach utmost importance to reliable and stable signal qualities, which can only be ensured by using suitable transmission technology, carrying out detailed planning and employing a frequency network coordinated with the BNetzA.” As part of frequency planning and coordination, HDwireless selects frequencies for projects, applies for them and gets the respective license from the authorities, e.g. for temporary use at trade fair arenas. Tanguy Heintz went on to state: “It’s not uncommon for us to be able to measure several hundred active frequencies (simultaneously) between 450 MHz and 7 GHz in exhibition halls. This demonstrates the complex requirements with regard to the operational reliability of live image transmission for trade fair projects featuring discerning national and international target groups”.

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