Pushing remote broadcast boundaries


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Film and TV coverage as varied as the London 2012 Olympics and the BBC’s Springwatch are raising the bar where viewer expectations are concerned. Bradley Engineering (BradEng) is a remote camera technology pioneer that has been at the forefront of meeting these expectations.
TV Bay spoke to Bradley Engineering founder, David Bradley, about the latest additions to the company’s portfolio and how they respond to remote camera technology trends. “We go that extra mile,” he explained. For instance, upgrading the camera but keeping the existing, durable housing means we can support our longstanding customers with up-to-date kit they know will last and last – regardless of what they throw at it. Most recently we’ve been proud that our cameras have been used for coverage of Springwatch, the Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympic torch relay and the Games themselves.”
Bradley highlighted how their mini and integrated remote camera models push the boundaries of usability, connectivity and control. For example, a new 20:1 zoom lens has been used to enhance the new generation of Bradley's versatile, rugged and weatherproof CamBall. While retaining the full simultaneous control of pan, tilt, zoom and focus, with smooth-move feedback control motors and flexible mounting options, it has added a number of new and enhanced features in response to customer requirements.
The CamBall II now has a fully encased lightweight carbon fibre housing, reducing the weight by over 0.5 kilograms. It also adds a removable 'O-ring' sealed front port that allows it to take all of Bradley's wide-angle lenses. “A great feature is that the slip ring enables continuous 360-degree pans,” added Bradley. “It's features like these that make the CamBall II the most flexible, yet cost-effective integrated remote camera capable of meeting most filming demands today.”
The lens featured in new Camball II is also under development to feature in a full high-definition (HD) remote camera with all the usability, connectivity and control normally associated with BradEng digital remote cameras. Beta examples will be available at this year’s IBC.
Another essential feature of remote camera technology has to be durability, stressed Bradley. “The cameras – especially the ones in the goal mouths of ice hockey nets for instance, need to be hardwearing. That’s why we’ve really pushed the envelope with our new NetCam II, responding to customer needs and a wide variety of applications.”
The NetCam II is a mounted complimentary metal-oxide semi conductor (CMOS) camera system offering 2.0 megapixels and full SD/HD performance. Like its predecessor, it has fully machined and ruggedised components with carbon-fibre and Kevlar protection covers. The polycarbonate lens protection dome offers further protection, designed to withstand a high degree of impact.
Bradley continued: “Our full manufacturing facility onsite is key for developing the new features and functionality of our controllers and transceivers, as well as our cameras.” As a result, BradEng recently launched at IBC2012 its latest multi-function controller, the MFC II, and a new mini joystick controller (MJC). In the first major upgrade of the popular MFC I, he said the company has improved on what has been widely known as the most sophisticated remote head and camera controller available since its launch in 2003.
The MFC II can control up to eight remote cameras and heads using its one-touch selection buttons, while also extending control from 64 cameras to 99 with the addition of a keypad camera selector. While the new controller also retains its familiar, ergonomic layout, new 'hot keys' and a custom casing, built using a single-piece extrusion, features rounded edges for maximum durability and operator comfort.
The new MJC is a simple and cost-effective unit that, like the MFC II, enables full, standard camera control. As with all BradEng controllers, power and data are carried on a single XLR4 cable to the remote head for easy connection and operation.
Lastly, capable of delivering digitally coded, error-free data transmission to remote heads and other devices, the new BradEng RD_10 revolutionises transceiver development with a sleek and ultra-slim design that is no thicker than an iPhone. The RD_10 features both transmit and receive capability and can be user set as a transmitter, receiver or re-transmitter for individual setups.
“It is developments like these that we hope will keep Bradley Engineering at the forefront of remote camera technology demands for years to come,” Bradley concluded.

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