Live production is the pinnacle of television broadcasting. Creators of live content face the challenges of working live from whichever location, at whatever time, each project demands. They also have the added pressure that many millions of viewers are watching their every decision then and there without the option of ‘retake’. In recent years, producers of live television content have encountered two major new technological and operational challenges:
First was the need to work in 4K UHD, whilst at the same time as creating and monitoring the HD program output. This led to a number of production companies adopting either 12G-SDI or IP based infrastructure and operate in a hybrid SDI/IP environment.
Second, and most recently, high dynamic range has become a prerequisite for high-end live production. As with UHD, where HD analysis cannot be ignored, standard dynamic range is still watched by the majority of the audience and cannot be compromised.
Both of these technological innovations have one thing in common: traditional 3G/HD waveform monitoring is no longer sufficient.
Leader anticipated this trend several years ago and developed its ZEN Series waveform monitors and rasterizers. Introduced in 2018 and strengthened by five years of ongoing development, these deliver traditional basic HD/SDR SDI test and measurement analysis as standard and can be upgraded to support UHDTV in both 12G-SDI and IP, along with simultaneous HDR analysis.
The ‘True Hybrid’ SDI and IP operation of Leader’s LV5600 waveform monitor and LV7600 Rasterizer is unique. It allows individual operators and producers in a combined SDI and IP environment to monitor all signal streams via their familiar and trusted picture, waveform and vectorscope displays without worrying about whether the signal source is IP or SDI and now JPEG XS (SMPTE ST2110-22) analysis and generation support has been via software license.
All ZEN Series products also provide the ability to display SDR and HDR sources simultaneously. They also offer Leader’s powerful CINELITE and CINEZONE real-time false color display tools which allow quick and easy identification of potential issues in an SDR or HDR source, ensuring that SDI and IP signal sources are not compromised during live production. To assist operators, Leader has replaced they traditional quad-split display with a fully free-form customizable layout, that allows production staff to size and position multiple analysis tools to match their operating preferences. Configurations can be saved as a pre-set for quick and easy recall.
For live multi-camera productions, the ZEN Series also features the ability to overlay up to four camera sources on the waveform, vectorscope and histogram, with each source have its own trace colors, thus making camera setup and matching quick and easy even high-pressure operating environments.
If you work in live television production and are not yet familiar with Leader test and measurement solutions, now is an ideal time to find out why more and more high-end live production teams are using Leader to guarantee that they can deliver the ultimate content that brings broadcast television viewers closer to the action.
You can get the new Live Production Guide here.