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Ultra HD 4K On-Set Production

January 21, 2013

There’s a trend in live studio production to utilize Ultra HD 4K monitors on the set. Sometimes it’s simply not possible to get the live shots you would like displayed behind the presenters in a studio. Shooting restrictions, time of day, inclement weather, or the immediacy of a breaking news story can present such a barrier.

Any number of reasons may result in the need to display Ultra High Definition 4K video behind the talent from pre-recorded content. Perhaps you need to display images captured from a 4K camera—showing all the action, up-close and personal, on the set. For a variety of reasons, studio producers are looking to employ Ultra HD 4K moving images in their on-set displays.

The problem with feeding large on-set displays a conventional HD signal is that the lack of resolution causes the images to appear soft. To maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio, this kind of multi-panel display ends up with many less pixels per panel than would be required to display the image on a single display.

To display a very large 4K video on-set requires a minimum of four individual 1080p HD monitors arranged in a 2 X 2 video wall matrix (3840 X 2160 pixels). Black borders in the video are used to maintain the correct 16:9 aspect ratio of the source content. More complex arrangements can also be achieved, such as “wrap-around” sets employing many more monitors.

In such a case, the 4K video is supplied to a video wall matrix processor—such as a Vista Systems URS or Spyder—which processes that 4K video to divide, scale and perhaps rotate the output channels to match the number and orientation of the monitors contained within the display matrix.

Ultra HD 4K content can be delivered to Mira by either four 3Gb/s coaxial cables, or via the integrated Media File Import utility. This integrated software application, part of the standard media management suite of software included in every Mira server, ingests full-resolution 4K source media files and automatically “tiles” that incoming 4K content into eight separate video tracks contained within a single “4K” media file stored within the Mira Clip Library. When this 4K media clip is later loaded and replayed during on-air production, all eight video tracks instantly load into all eight video channels with a single command—with 100% guaranteed synchronous playback with each other—to accurately replay the entire tiled Ultra HD 4K video within the on-set monitor matrix.

Save Time and Increase Accuracy with Mira’s Streamlined 4K Workflow
Unlike competing video servers, Mira’s Media File Import tool completely eliminates the need to “manually tile” the 4K content with an external editor into eight separate media files. Also eliminated with Mira is the subsequent management and importing of the eight separate “tile” media files—each of which must also be painstakingly mapped and manually loaded by an operator at time of playback—in order to match each tile to the proper video monitor within the on-set monitor matrix.

With Mira, media file ingest of Ultra HD 4K source content is radically streamlined—and completely eliminates the inevitable production mistakes encountered when handling separate media file “tiles” as found in the workflows just described for competing video servers.

For  more information on our Ultra HD 4K solutions download our application note here.