Ross Video – Any-to-any HD/ UHD/ HDR conversion, master control & IP – openGear Live & Online, 21 April 2021

Bill Rounopoulos:
Welcome to the Ross Video openGear live webinar. I’m Bill Rounopoulos, Business Development Manager for OEM and openGear. I’d like to start with a little bit of background on openGear. openGear is the industry standard platform of choice since 2006, it’s been going for 15 years strong now, a big anniversary for us. It’s an open architecture modular platform created by Ross and supported by a diverse set of manufacturers. The first set of equipment manufacturer is now in our fourth generation. The frame and its distinct frame glow and higher power supports today’s most demanding, UHD and IP productions while maintaining backward compatibility.

The platform offers the freedom to choose technology from a wide range of partners to meet the needs of your broadcast production or distribution facility. Through the cooperative efforts of a large diverse set of partners, openGear delivers best of breed product and budget options for customers all the while ensuring common control and monitoring within the DashBoard ecosystem. Gone are the days of having half empty frames and multiple controls systems to manage in your facility. openGear offers one frame, one control system and hundreds of options.

From humble beginnings, openGear has evolved into one of the most successful media conversion platforms in the industry. With over 42,000 frameshift, it has helped thousands of customers and users to achieve their production goal or goals. One of the key factors for openGear’s success is that it offers one of the largest media conversion portfolios in the industry, helping you find the optimum solution to meet your production challenges. And that’s because it’s an open platform.

Over 135 partners constantly contributing new innovations to the ecosystem at a rate unmatched in the industry. And the number of openGear and DashBoard partners continues to grow every year, further accelerating the introduction of new solutions. And DashBoard’s popularity continues to grow further highlighting the expanding base of customers and users with over 20,000 downloads in the last six months alone.

Now let’s focus a bit deeper on DashBoard and how it’s evolved. DashBoard is the unified control system for the openGear ecosystem, allowing customers to control, monitor, and configure hundreds of solutions from a wide range of suppliers. Originally the control system Ross created for openGear, It also runs virtually all of Ross’s equipment from our family of production switchers, including Acuity, Carbonite, Graphite to Expression Graphics, Ultrix routers, overdrive automation, just to name a few examples. As DashBoard is free and open, it is also leveraged on non-openGear products via the DashBoard connect program, allowing partners to integrate the DashBoard OGP protocol with the proprietary non-openGear software and or hardware products, vastly expanding the universe of DashBoard enabled solutions that can be interfaced with the openGear ecosystem.

What else can you do with DashBoard? Well, you can use its custom panel functionality to simplify your production workflows. Some examples are shown on the top left. With custom panels, existing commands can be combined to control Ross openGear or third-party IP devices. A single button press can trigger multiple actions across several different pieces of equipment using your production workflows. To learn more, I encourage you to attend the webinar session coming up right after this one, where Rocket Surgery, our creative and professional services team will review some real life custom panels examples.

Now, I would like to show you how you can leverage openGear and UHD-SDI to build a state-of-the-art experience for your customers. Why UHD-SDI? Well, it remains one of the best choices for applications of any size due to its reliability value, its ease of use, and will continue to do so for many years to come. At Ross, we continue to build out our 12 gig and UHD-SDI portfolio, which includes our very popular and successful Gator Toolbox format and frame rate converter, frame sync, and HDR solution. Followed by our MC1 UHD branding and master control, which we continue to add features to, and we’ll discuss shortly. No UHD solution is complete without some very high density, 12 gig SDI distribution apps, like our 8900 Series. And finally, we are going to cover our newest member of our 12 gig portfolio, our AMX-8952 audio embedding, de-embedding and frame syncs solution.

Let’s start with our Gator Toolbox format convert to show how it can help you solve challenges when putting together a UHD-SDI solution. Gator Toolbox is our openGear solution for UHD signal conversion. It handles all the challenges you are likely to encounter in a UHD production. For instance, we support different formats, single link, UHD standard definition natively, but we also support conversion between any combination of single and quad link UHD signals. We support HDR and Wide Color Gamut conversion, and conversion from HD to UHD with very high quality. There’s more, we also include a very high quality near motion adaptive frame rate converter, with very low latency that’s ideal for live production and of course, full audio processing.

Now I’m going to review how our customers have used Gator Toolbox to solve real-world challenges they faced when building a UHD-SDI solution. One of the challenge that is often faced when migrating to UHD-SDI is that some production equipment only supports multilink interfaces like 3G Square Division. As an example, in one of the biggest stadium projects that Ross has been involved with, the production in core infrastructure was built using UHD-SDI and SDR with a plan to migrate to HDR in the future. However, the stadium display required quad link and HDR signals. So a conversion from UHD-SDI-SDR to quad link square division HDR was required. Gator Toolbox was used to solve the conversion challenge and drive the high resolution in-stadium display. The ability to do all this conversion in one card with up to 10 channels for 2RU openGear frame, made it the perfect solution and the results were amazing.

Another problem faced in stadiums upgrade to UHD is that not all trucks are UHD capable yet, and down conversion is required before they can use the stadium feeds. The Gator Toolbox has high quality conversion algorithm along with its native support for fiber, making an excellent platform for down conversion in truck bay applications. Gator Toolbox also solve challenges for customers looking to broadcast major sports events in UHD. ISO feeds from different regions can require a high quality frame rate conversion before being usable in live production. Customers evaluating UHD solutions have adopted Gator Toolbox for the quality of its ultra low latency motion, adaptive frame rate conversion, and its incredible value compared to more expensive motion compensated alternatives. This has allowed our customers to economically broadcast stunning UHD quality content across the globe.

Gator Toolbox are any-to-any signal conversion problem-solver is available in a variety of IO combinations to suit your application needs. We support UHD-SDI, quad link, optical and discreet audio with up to 10 cards for 2RU openGear frame. For applications that don’t require UHD today, we are now offering UHD as a software option, that makes Gator-2F our entry-level hardware variant an amazing value for customers who are looking for a migration path to UHD.
Today we would like to introduce a new member to our UHD-SDI portfolio, the AMX-8952. This is our brand new 12G-SDI audio embedder and frame sync card for openGear. The AMX-8952 is a key building block to solve audio embedding and synchronization problems with its optional UHD-SDI support. It enables your infrastructure to support the next generation of high quality production with easy to deploy and highly reliable technology.

The AMX-8952 comes in three variants supporting a popular discreet audio standards. The dash A version support 16 channels of discreet AES unbalanced audio, the dash B support 16 channels of AES balanced, and the dash C eight channels of discreet analog. On top of solving your audio embedding and de-embedding challenges, it can also handle audio-video delay mismatch with the UHD frame sync option. Its audio IO is bi-directional, so the same card can be configured as an embedder or de-embedder. It’s priced affordably. Great for UHD while being ready for the future with its licensable UHD support and has DashBoard control, of course.

So on top of being able to solve audio embedding, audio-video delay mismatch, and video synchronization problems in UHD, the AMX also supports clean, quiet switching with its support for a secondary feed. In this example, a full clean, quiet switch can be performed either by using DashBoard, GPI or RossTalk. It is also possible to configure the card to switch over if the primary signal is lost. To sum it all up, the AMX solution for UHD-SDI embedding, de-embedding, frame sync, protection switching, and fail over.

So we have talked about conversion, embedding and synchronization. Now I’d like to review our solutions for branding and master control in UHD. When we talk with customers about branding and master control in UHD, we often hear the need for a solution that preserves the same feature density as 3G solution that can scale to many channels, and that is easy to integrate with their existing graphics workflow, their automation and infrastructure. We believe we have delivered on all those fronts with our MC1- UHD branding and master control platform.

Now let’s walk through the MC1-UHD feature set. The MC-UHD master control provides the ultimate flexibility of workflow, robustness and scalability with its four keyers, internal local generators, support for audio processing, support for automation using Pressmaster and external router control. MC1 is already on its second iteration, and today we are unveiling the version two feature set. Let me walk you through some of the key new features. First, we are adding full feature 2D-DVE, allowing squeeze back and background reveal in UHD. You can now have an external reveal and key at the same time using its two external keys. Tally system integration with TSL support, so you can show tally on your multi-viewer, like our Ultrix ultra state, emergency and alert system, EAS support for all formats, including UHD, audio processing profiles, allowing consistent and effortless per source adjustments, voice over support up to 16 channels of voiceover and integrated support for discreet audio on the card. External embedders no longer needed, MC1-UHD supports audio natively for voiceover and EAS.

MC1-UHD now has flexible licensing that allows you to tailor its functionality more closely to your application. In this example, MC1-UHD with the basic year license provides a multi-channel branding solution for different feeds coming out of a play out system or to an extend an existing master control. This allows precise control of branding associated with each feed using MC1-UHD for external key fill inputs. A clean quiet fail-over can also be implemented between the primary and backup play out using DashBoard GPI or RossTalk. If you add the full master control license, MC1-UHD can now control an external router using GVG automation, including our Ultrix UHD router. You can feed up to two external key sources such as CGs or weather systems in addition to the internal logo playout on the MC1 card.

It can also be controlled by popular automation systems using Pressmaster protocol and tie into popular emergency alert system decoders to generate government mandated alert crawls. The openGear chassis supports up to 10 master control channels and a wide variety of router sizes, making it a very scalable solution. With this flexible licensing, you can tailor MC1-UHD to solve problems ranging from simple branding to large multi-channel master control. The hardware is UHD ready, however, the functionality can be purchased when needed. With its ability to integrate with poplar routers, its two external keys and UHD support, MC1-UHD gives you ultimate flexibility, allowing to integrate with existing systems and reuse your existing graphics, playouts and automation workflow.

Let’s turn our attention to Distribution, a very important piece of infrastructure and talk a bit about our 8900 series 12G-SDI Distribution Amplifiers. Density and reliability performance are key for these products. Our 8900 series distribution apps provide up to 20 distribution outputs per chassis, allowing you to replicate up to 20 signals. We use a special RF connector that gives us the modularity that you expect from a product like this, but without compromising the high level signal integrity required for a UHD-SDI. That makes our 8900 series a solid choice for signal distribution in UHD. When building new infrastructure or upgrade an existing one, SDI remains a good technology choice. 12G-SDI is practical, simple to deploy and affordable. It’s a solid investment for HD facilities and can grow to meet feature UHD-HDR requirements. Ross has a diverse portfolio of UHD ready solutions to help build your 12G-SDI infrastructure today.

Switching gears now, let’s turn our attention to IP and our Raptor-2110 Open Gear solution. Raptor is our open gear card that is six in, six out HD-SDI/ST2110 gateway with two 10 GigE connections and one GigE management port. It features open control, the support for DashBoard, Amber Plus and NMOS ISO4 and ISO5. Up to five Raptor cards can fit into a 2RU openGear frame, enabling a very high density solution at a very low cost per channel.

The latest production release is very robust and includes extremely useful diagnostic capabilities to help troubleshoot networks setup issues. These include TTP tracking, which exposes Grandmaster and network switch configuration issues, which is a big problem that many customers face when setting up a network for the first time, receive our buffer analysis, which identifies devices not locked to system time and Ethanet bandwidth graphs, very valuable. We show real world, real time, link consumption, very useful when setting up your network. To sum it up, Raptor really shines as the ideal companion to our production switcher when you’re looking for 2110 IP gateway.

Up to this point, in addition to the Raptor IP card we just discussed, we have provided an overview of our complete 12G-SDI portfolio, which includes Gator Toolbox, MC1-UHD and AMX audio embedding, de-embedding solution. These 12G-SDI solutions are built on the success of our 3G openGear portfolio, which is widely deployed in the market. Let’s take a quick look at all the solutions available in the broad ROss openGear portfolio. We cover all your distribution needs with support for SD, HD and UHD. For conversion, we can address all your up-down cross conversion requirements as well as DA capabilities. We also have solutions for audio embedding and de-embedded, frame synchronization and 2110 IP DA Raptor that we just talked about.

Continuing on with the portfolio overview, we have a wide range of data solutions for bank insertion and extraction MTS monitoring. Very popular keen and branding solutions, and we have extended our MC1 classic solution to take care of UHD workflows. We have a tremendous number of products to meet your fiber needs as well as audio processing, which includes loudness, upmix, and Dolby encode and decode to name just a few, and a widely used and very popular Nielsen watermarking solution for audience measurement. I encourage you to visit our Ross Video website to get more information on our extensive portfolio of openGear cards or to request a demo of any of our solutions.

On our website, you will find documentation and block diagrams on hundreds of openGear products. Go to for more details. Thank you for listening. Now, I’ll turn it over to Cindy for Q&A.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
Wondering if the 12G-4k processors support HDR, PQ, HLG. And a question about up and down mapping with SDR. If you want to take this offline too, we can circle back on that one.

Bill Rounopoulos:
Well, we definitely support HLG for sure. I will have to get back on the other two items. So if you can note the email address of the person who asked them, we’ll make sure to get back to him today.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
Now, another question is, can I use DashBoard in remote production? Do you have an example?

Bill Rounopoulos:
Absolutely. Our DashBoard software can be used remotely as it’s natively connects to Ross and openGear devices over IP. In many cases, opening DashBoard across a VPN works well to connect monitoring and control devices. Customers can also leverage our DashBoard proxy server for performance benefits when there are high number of users.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
In migrating to UHD, should I look at IP or 12G-SDI? What does Ross Video recommend?

Bill Rounopoulos:
Wow, that’s a good question.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
A big one.

Bill Rounopoulos:
Yeah, a big one. Where do I start? This depends on your application and objectives. IP has a lot of advantages that offers scalability, flexibility, unlock software-based processing, a lot of cool advantages. You can build out on-premise infrastructure today with it, which can be more easily moved to the cloud tomorrow. However, one big item that needs to be considered as a control system, it becomes a critical to unlock these capabilities. On the other hand, you’ve got 12G-SDI, which is familiar, quicker to leverage in the existing infrastructure. It’s easier, more cost-effective to use, but again, it doesn’t have to be an either or decision, you can migrate to your current SDI infrastructure to IP in stages, protecting your existing investment while providing extensible growth for the future.

The control plane is often the biggest challenges in this migration. However, Ross can help here as we offer consolidated control solution, supporting both SDI and IP simultaneously leveraging industry standard NMOS. With all the rapid evolution of technology happening in our industry, it can be dizzying with all these choices, but Ross is here to help whether you’re planning to build out an IP infrastructure or to migrate the UHD with a simple and practical 12G-SDI.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
Do you have any final words on what people should do with Ross Video and your latest offerings on UHD and HDR?

Bill Rounopoulos:
Well, I guess I would encourage them to bring their challenges, the problems they’re facing with their productions, their decisions they’re trying to make to us. We’re here to help. We have software-based processing on-premise solutions that are migrating to the cloud. We have a growing portfolio of IP products and we just reviewed our extensive list of UHD-SDI solutions. So we invest and we play in all of them and we’re looking forward to talking with customers.

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