In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2018 - 22
www.inbroadcast.com | NAB Show 7-12 April 2018 | Product Preview
Omnitek for Top T&M
and Design Consultancy
Omnitek's Alan Wheable discusses the Test &
Measurement market sector and the current trends...
InB: Can you give us a brief
overview of what we can expect in
the next 6-12 months within your
challenging times for broadcast and
content to be produced in a range of
different formats, color spaces and
dynamic ranges to suit a diversifying
delivery route to consumers with high
expectations of better picture quality
and enhanced user experience.
On top of this the infrastructure
being used to deliver content is
changing under our feet, as the desire
for IP solutions influence decisions.
For anyone buying equipment these
days, the list of requirements is quite
long and the decisions being made will
affect not just short-term, but longterm production efficiencies. When
buying Test & Measurement (T&M)
equipment, the challenge is to find
the one that suits the immediate need,
future needs and at a price that is
within ever tighter budget constraints.
And above all it needs to be fit for
purpose, value for money and easy to
InB: Any specific product/s taking
center stage this year?
AW: For NAB 2018, the Omnitek
Ultra family of T&M products gains the
ability to decode Dolby D and E audio
to provide metadata analysis and
native audio streams for monitoring.
Our decision to implement additional
audio functionality within the Ultra
family is partly due to demand from
broadcasters who need to be able to
ensure the quality of all aspects of
their content before broadcast but also
because the adoption of IP standards
such as SMPTE 2110 means that it is
essential to be able to check all of the
elemental streams (video, audio and
ancillary) are correct.
With digital audio capture an
everyday occurrence, being able
to actually hear it anywhere within
the production chain is a significant
benefit, whether it's AES/EBU or Dolby
D / E.
Ultra - Test and Measurement
In addition to the new audio
functionality we will be adding IP
connectivity to the Ultra XR as it
finds its place in more and more
broadcasters around the world. This
makes the Ultra XR a fully connected
SDI/IP 4K/UHD Waveform Rasterizer.
We will be continuing to add
functionality and make improvements
to the Ultra family of products based
on feedback from our ever-increasing
InB: What challenges did you face
when designing / launching the
AW: In order to support Dolby
decode, AES/EBU Input/Output as well
as analog audio monitoring it has been
necessary to design a new mezzanine
board for the Ultra product range. This
board, affectionately named 'Polo'
due to the square whole in the middle
of the PCB to allow airflow, provides
additional FPGA resource as well as the
AES/EBU audio connectivity required
to monitor the de-embedded audio
from the SDI/IP stream and decoded
Dolby D / E content.
Meeting the diverse
This new audio hardware will be
available as an upgrade to existing
One of the challenges with launching
the Ultra TQ was to find the right mix
of functionality to suite broadcast
program production, post production
and QC activities in a package to suit
current needs at a price within tight
budgetary constraints. All of this while
providing a future-proof platform that
can be adapted to future needs and
By employing the technology already
in use by the Ultra 4K Tool Box and
the Ultra XR we were quickly able
to build a sophisticated tool set in a
small form factor package suitable for
desktop and rack mount installation in
an engineering bay, control room, QC
suite and OB truck.
InB: Which territories do you think
will show particular interest?
AW: Omnitek has established sales
of its Ultra 4K Toolbox, Ultra XR and
Ultra TQ products around the world.
The Ultra 4K Tool Box has been
adopted as the de facto standard T&M
product for 12G-SDI development in
the USA, Europe and Asia/Pacific.
The Ultra XR has found success in
the USA and in Europe with post
houses and broadcasters already
working with 4K/UHD and / or HD
high dynamic range programs. The
Ultra TQ has already been adopted
by broadcasters in the USA and with
the new audio functionality it will
also become a popular choice in Asia.
It is allowing them to move to new
production methods at their own pace,
knowing that the equipment they have
purchased is future-proof.
InB: Any future product/service
innovations ahead that you can
AW: Omnitek has a policy of
and there is a road map to add new
functionality to the Ultra family over
the next few years. There are two
sides to Omnitek's business, the
T&M product side and the Design
Consultancy side. As a business
Omnitek is already working on new
technology that is being driven by
equipment manufacturers needing
solutions for HDMI 2.0, video over
IP, 8K image processing and high
frame rate processing. These types
of development directly influence
Omnitek's T&M products.
Earlier this year, Omnitek announced
its new Omnitek Standard Product
(OSP) silicon chipset solutions for
4K AV over IP and 4K / HD Warp
as competitive alternatives to ASIC
and ASSP devices. These turnkey
solutions are configurable and use
deliver multi-function video processing
features, currently only available using
combinations of discrete devices.
Omnitek's T&M products will be on
display at NAB 2018, Central Hall,
Booth C7412. Our Design Services team
will also be available to discuss any
Alan Wheable FISTC, MITOL, is
the Communications Manager at