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monitoring embedded audio and even lets you select which pairs of channels you monitor. Currently monitoring is only available for the fi rst 12 channels of embedded audio, but I am told that the last 4 channels will be available in a future release. Battery life on this device is great, the design team engineered the Blade with power conservation in mind. There are two battery slots on the back of the unit for rechargeable batteries (or a power connector) so you can always have a spare battery with you. There is internal power monitoring of the battery level as well as seamless automatic or manual changeover from one pack to the other, a feature especially handy when using this device as a recorder. All of their units use the same battery, so if you have a Connect Converter/TSG, the batteries are interchangeable. Incidentally, the Connect converter will slide into the battery slot on the back of the Blade and actually power it for a short time with the small battery inside - that’s how low the power consumption is! I mentioned that this unit also doubles as a recorder, all you need is a 2.5” drive. You can use a standard HDD, but a SSD will give you longer battery life. The record feature can be handy in a QC situation as it makes it very easy to “snapshot” a problem out in the fi eld and then refer back to it later for analysis. If you record test signals onto the drive then the unit can double as a signal generator. Currently it isn’t possible to output from the drive and simultaneously monitor an incoming signal, but I am told that the developers are looking into that functionality. If you prefer having a separate test generator, stick with one of their Connect units that easily docks on the back of the Blade for travel. All in all, I am quite impressed with the versatility and usefulness of the Blade in a fi eld engineering environment. During an event recently I was helping another broadcaster troubleshoot one of their signals and I grabbed the Blade before leaving the truck. We followed his cable path and traced the problem down to the last barrel in the line. Relieved to fi nd the problem, he thanked me and asked if he could keep the Blade. (I had to decline.) I have used the Blade on several shows over the past two months and it has all of the features that I look for in a test monitor. Add either a hard drive or a Connect Converter/TSG (or both) and you have a comprehensive fi eld test set. The product can only get better with the design team at Atomos always looking for ways to make improvements to an already solid platform.” Hitachi broadcast camera systems State-of-the-art HDTV production camera channels Exceptional picture quality Cost-effective HD production +44 (0)845 820 0000 TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 90 JUNE 2014 | 65