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Inter BEE 2010: opting to stay focused on the 'Here & Now'.

TOKYO - While the buzz at Inter BEE 2010, Japan's premier broadcast show, last November was mainly on what's 'Beyond HD' (see part one of this article in APB January 2011 issue), there were some who stayed focused on the 'Here & Now'. One such company was FOR-A, which is celebrating its 40th birthday this year.

Asked to comment on 'Super High Definition in the Home', Susumu Hotta, general manager, Overseas Operations at FOR-A, said 3D in the living room would have to come first--and even then it would not be so soon.

"Take-up of HD 3D in the home will depend on the price of the TV screens," said Hotta, adding that another important factor in 3D propagation is colour equalisation.

"If colour matching is not done properly, viewers will get a headache. It may seem a small thing but it can put people off watching 3D content."

Indeed, FOR-A has a host of 3D products, including the CEQ-100HS HD/SD, a colour equaliser that does colour matching automatically once you set the parameters. "Many 3D production companies are now 'paying close attention to this," said Hotta. "In fact, the new colour equaliser at the booth was sold almost immediately and we had many overseas enquiries."

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Another notable FOR-A product was the FA-9500 multi-purpose signal processor and frame synchroniser. This one-box solution for processing and mixing video and audio replaces the popular FA-9100.

"The FA-9500 is very popular. We have started shipping it to the US, Europe and soon Asia too," said Hotta.

FOR-A also sold more than 1,000 units of its HVS-350HS, a new compact 1.5 M/E mixer in its Hanabi range. This low-cost 3D-capable mixer has found many customers in Australia, China, South Korea and Thailand.

For full specifications and range of other FOR-A products, including video archiving recorders, routers and the 'Flash Eye' 720p camera for high-speed 3D capture of live sports, go to www.for-a.com.

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Commenting on Japan going fully digital this July, Koichiro Maiki, executive officer and general manager of Broadcom BU, Tamura Corporation, said: "HD content requires high-quality surround sound; and this is where high-performance digital audio mixing consoles play an important part, especially in live sports and other on-air production."

Taking pride of place at Tamura booth was its NT880, a 512-channel audio multiplex transmission system using optical cable. Using its own high-speed transmission protocol TR-NET, the NT880 offers high-quality sound and low delays; it utilises 14 rotary encoders per channel.

Maiki revealed: "We have already received more than 20 orders for the NT880. We expect more sales as more Asian countries are beginning to produce HD programmes."

Tamura's AMQ1100, a high-performance digital mixer, also attracted much attention. The company sold 10 sets to South Korea and China, including in-stalling one in a CCTV's OB truck.

At the Roland Corporation booth, marketing manager Koji Iida was busy promoting the versatile VR-5, a solution that greatly simplifies production, recording and streaming of live events over the Internet.

"The compact VR-5 incorporates a video switcher, audio mixer, video playback, recorder, preview monitors and output for Web streaming--and all in a single unit," said Iida, adding that the easy-to-use solution is ideal for corporate events and live web broadcasting.

Roland is also famous for its V-Mixing Systems, currently used in live venues, concert halls and TV/radio studios. For small events and outdoor broadcasting, Iida pointed to the M-300 V-Mixer. "The M-300 comes with expanded V-Mixing System applications and yet very affordable. It's highly compact and portable; it has 32 mixing channels, and four-band PEQ and dynamics on all the channels. It can record and play back using USB flash memory," said Iida.

A big attraction at the NTT Electronics booth was its MPC1010 multi-channel encoder that can simultaneously transmit two channels of full HD 3D video content.

Shoichi Nakano, vice-president, overseas system business division at NTT Electronics, said: "The MPC1010, which fits in a single rack (2U), is capable of simultaneously transmitting up to two channels of HD 3D video content without requiring an external frame synchroniser, providing significant cost savings."

Nakano said that within the next two or three years, 3D transmission to the home would take off but, for now, the MPC1010 can be used for point-to-point transmission, for example, a basketball or boxing match. Or for distribution of high-quality 3D content to theatres.
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Title Annotation:NEWS & VIEWS
Author:Yeo, Andrew
Publication:APB Magazine
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Feb 1, 2011
Words:730
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