In Broadcast - January 2018 - 39

39 | Vol: 8 - Issue 1 | January 2018


Bluebell Opticom:
Looking Back and
Moving Forward
Paul McCann, Managing Director, Bluebell Opticom,
looks back over the company's achievements in 2017...


017 was certainly an eventful
year for Bluebell Opticom. Our
developers were busy delivering some
real problem-solvers - including oneof-a-kind products you won't find
anywhere else. Products that give
broadcasters the technology they need
to tackle fibre transport in the age of
4K UHD and IP.
One-Cable 12G-SDI
Connectivity For 4K
For example, with Bluebell's new
series of 12G-SDI cards, broadcasters
and remote crews no longer need high
piles of copper cable. Instead, they
get one-cable 12G-SDI connectivity in
4K broadcast applications. Our BN390
module converts four 3G-SDI inputs to
one 12G-SDI output on fibre - making
it possible to reduce four coax cables
down to one wavelength on one single-

mode fibre. Now, with wavelength
management, Bluebell products can
carry 16 wavelengths on a single fibre.
Even better, they can also handle 16
4K camera outputs on a single fibre.
Couple that with the standard SMPTE
hybrid cable, which has two fibre
cores, and you can immediately move
32 4K UHD channels over a single
SMPTE hybrid cable - something
every truck in the industry carries by
Bluebell also launched a simple
product that allows standard 3G-SDI
video signals to be wrapped up and
sent over IP networks. In effect, it
sits on the edge between traditional
broadcast and the IP world. Hence its
name: Edgware.
By interfacing 3G-SDI signals
directly with IP networks, Edgware
enables robust, resilient IP delivery
with unprecedented compactness,
Edgware consists of a compact,
cost-effective pair of modules
- an encapsulator and
a decapsulator - that
signals over IP networks
SMPTE 2022-7 or ST 2010.
The result is adaptive IP
transport with hitless IP

Bluebell Hothead Silhouette

routing according to the latest videoover-IP standards. There are larger,
more complex solutions on the market,
but nothing competes with Edgware in
terms of size, sophistication, price, and
ease of use.
Hothead Silhouette
When it comes to power insertion
and long-distance 4K remote-camera
operation at live events, Bluebell has
broadcasters covered with the new
Hothead Silhouette, an end-to-end,
self-contained power, control, and
video tool for 4K robotic-camera
productions. It replaces copper
cabling with one hybrid cable and,
importantly, allows camera operators
to sit far away from the robotic
head - a combination of benefits not
previously available in conjunction
with 4K UHD production and remote
this year's festival season, Hothead
Silhouette is intended for ingest and
production of live events at sports
arenas, theatres, stadiums, and other
venues. It combines 4K UHD transport,
an open-architecture data-control
system, and up to 60 Watts of power
insertion to run the robotic camera
head - all in a self-contained, fully
integrated system. By placing the
portable unit between the robotic
camera head and the base station
and adding an external interconnect,
users can remotely power, control,
and receive 4K UHD pictures from a
robotic camera head over a single
hybrid fibre cable at distances up to
20 kilometres. As a result, instead of
standing on the wings of a stage using
copper cables to connect to the robotic
heads, operators can now be several
tens of kilometres away if required and
still have full control - even with dataheavy 4K shoots.

Single-Cable 4K UHDTV Transport
This year we made upgrades to
our BN390 stand-alone interface
that supports single-cable 4K UHDTV
transport in broadcast studios and
Among other improvements, the
BN390 multiplexer and demultiplexer
modules are now capable of converting
between all the various formats of
4K UHD (not just 12G-SDI) for both
copper and fibre, and they come with
an intuitive new software interface for
easy remote configuration and signal
monitoring. The improvements come
as part of Bluebell's rollout of remote
production tools and will be most
helpful in OB trucks, stadiums, news
facilities, and event venues, especially
for sport applications.
An Emmy Award!
Perhaps the 2017 accomplishment
we're most proud of is our Emmy
Award, which we earned for our
pioneering development of SDI over
fibre optic networks. When Bluebell
began making equipment that
converted SDI to light, we did so out
of academic interest. However, when
broadcasters saw the advantages,
they were quick to adopt the new
technology. As a result, SDI signal
transport over fibre is commonplace
today, and Bluebell has become a
trusted vendor for thousands of
broadcasters, OB truck companies,
stadiums, governments, and satellite
uplink stations throughout the
world. I am very proud of what we
have achieved and am so pleased
that we have been recognised for
those achievements by The National
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
As we head into 2018, Bluebell will
continue the innovation that has
been our hallmark and for which we
were honoured this year. Here's to a
prosperous and productive 2018!

"I am very proud of what
we have achieved and
am so pleased that we
have been recognised for
those achievements by
The National Academy of
Television Arts & Sciences


Paul McCann, Bluebell Opticom

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - January 2018