SilverBack 4K5 For RED Highlights HD-4K Twilight

HAPPAUGE, NY—Sat 04, 2016—

The television industry seems to be treading down a familiar path. A new, more desirable display technology, cutting edge distribution technology and all of the accoutrements necessary for both are tantalizingly close, yet the demand to produce programming for today’s realities must be satisfied at every turn.

It’s a situation not unlike that sliver of time in TV history when high definition in the form of 720p and 1080i was just coming on and 1080p was still a bit off in the distance. Everyone could see where things were going, but there was still a lot of standard definition programming that needed to be produced.

Then one day, someone decided it made a lot of sense to produce high-profile events in HD for the future and begin down converting for most viewers at home with SD sets.

Today, the industry is in a similar position, only this time the cutting edge is Ultra-HD in the form of 4K, but the bulk of what must be produced needs to done in HD.

Just as during the twilight between SD and HD, there is a growing desire to produce some entertainment and sports programming in the higher-res format to “futureproof” that content against the day when 4K is commonplace.

Against that backdrop a press release I received today makes perfect sense for the broadcast market.

MultiDyne has unveiled what it is calling a “systemized” solution for live production using RED Digital Cinema cameras.

The company’s SilverBack 4K5 transceiver, which systemizes any quad link (4K) camera on the market is now available and fully compatible with the RED Epic camera with 6K DRAGON sensor and REDCAST Module.

No doubt that’s pretty rarefied technology for broadcasters stuck in a 1080i HD world. But setting aside for a moment an ATSC 3.0 future with support for 4K Ultra-HD with high dynamic range, the announcement still makes a lot of sense for the broadcast market.

“They [RED] now are having success in live sports and entertainment projects with their powerful single-sensor cameras,” said Frank Jachetta, president of MultiDyne Video & Fiber Optic Systems in the press release. Undoubtedly, much of that success stems from the desire of producers wanting to give their high-value content longevity.

The RED 6K DRAGON captures images with more than nine times as many pixels as HD and makes it possible for the user to capture HD and 4K while at the same time capturing 6K raw data.

The MultiDyne SilverBack 4K5 provides for five 3Gb/s HD-SDI signal paths between the camera and base station on a single tactical or SMPTE hybrid fiber cable, which is needed for 4K Ultra-HD production, as well as power.

The 1RU base station has LED status indicators for each signal and a color LCD screen to display system status.

I suspect as the industry continues down this path there will be an avalanche of products that like the SilverBack 4K5 are designed to make a bit easier the lives of video producers who have one foot in the HD world and the other in 4K.