January 30, 2019

Imagine Communications technology delivers superior consistency at all resolutions including 4K HDR

Technology from Imagine Communications proved successful in an unusual challenge at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in November 2018. Its systems power the new live Ultra HD production truck operated by Global Production, which took part in an extensive trial organised by Ferrari as part of its Ferrari Challenge World Final (1-4 November 2018). This trial determined who could deliver the most consistent and accurate live colour images across all resolutions — including, of course, Ferrari’s trademark red.

Global Production’s new truck was designed and built by Italian systems integrator Chromaline, with a hybrid SDI and IP infrastructure specified and implemented together with the engineers from Imagine Communications. The outside broadcast company’s demanding requirements include the ability to support as many as 30 true 4K Ultra HD cameras, with comprehensive and responsive production capabilities suitable for the rigours of premium sports coverage. This could only be achieved using software-based systems from Imagine Communications.

In the tests at the Ferrari Challenge, the Global Production truck beat the competition hands down during a competitive colour accuracy test. It delivered the most accurate rendition of Ferrari red to viewers watching on all standards, from SD and HD to Ultra HD in 4K and HDR. Aside from the test, Global Production was providing host broadcaster coverage of the four-day event for Sky Italia, RAI and other broadcasters around the world.

“This is the first time anybody has asked to see every single available standard and format at the same time, to monitor the accuracy of each feed and, more precisely, to determine the accuracy of the colour space,” said Nicola Dall’Asta, CEO at systems integrator Chromaline. “Ferrari’s trademarked red colour carries as much importance as its logo — it is the essence of the Ferrari brand, so it was crucial that we delivered it more accurately than the competition.”

The tests demonstrated the power of the Imagine Communications hybrid infrastructure, built around the Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP). The standards-based, high-density platform offers SDI/IP gateway functionality and all-IP-capable processing with instantaneous conversion capabilities between environments. The significance of this demonstration is that the SNP enabled Global Production to seamlessly support hybrid SDI-IP workflows, while protecting the integrity of its mission-critical signals. The compact SNP platform also delivers space- and power-savings — essential to optimal mobile operations.

“In today’s hybrid world, broadcasters have to perform a lot of conversions,” added Dall’Asta. “Imagine’s SNP allows for any type of conversion, on any type of transport, with the best accuracy on the market. This test clearly proves this.”

Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA and APAC, Playout and Networking Solutions at Imagine Communications, said, “When this vehicle went on the road a couple of months ago, we knew that Nicola and his team had created a truck for Global Production that is capable of truly remarkable feats. Having a prominent customer like Ferrari perform neutral competitive testing of their highly guarded brand on our equipment — and be impressed with the results — is a testament to both Chromaline’s abilities and the strength of our technologies.”

At the core of the truck’s infrastructure are four SNP units for processing and HD/UHD up- and down-conversion, which also serve as a bridge between uncompressed IP signals in SMPTE ST 2110 and the SDI infrastructure. All connectivity, in SDI as well as IP, is managed by the Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator software control system, allowing the production team to switch and interwork seamlessly between HD, Ultra HD and uncompressed real-time SMPTE ST 2110 streams.

The result is that the powerful production capability is implemented in a tenth of the rack space normally required. This is a critical advantage in achieving the capacity necessary. Without it, Global Production’s goal of full functionality, including 30 true 4K Ultra HD camera capability, simply could not have been achieved inside a road-legal vehicle.

For more information about Imagine Communications’ products and solutions, please visit https://www.imaginecommunications.com.


About Imagine Communications
Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, future-proof, multiscreen video and revenue enablement solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive close to a third of global ad revenue. Through continuous innovation, we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry. Visit https://www.imaginecommunications.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.

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