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In Guatemala, Shogun reverses 29.97PsF pulldown for 8-camera live-switched show via Datavideo HS2800

Thanks to the reverse telecine feature in the Shogun and other Átomos recorders, Staff/HDTV got its wish.

Staff/HDTV in Guatemala really wanted to record pure progressive 1080/29.97p for its multi-camera TV shoots. They strongly considered NewTek’s TriCaster lineup, but TriCaster didn’t offer any option with 8 HD-SDI inputs in their desired price range, so instead they chose Datavideo’s HS2800 mobile studio, which starts with 8 HD-SDI inputs and is expandable to 12. The initial problem was that the SE–2800 contained in the HS2800 package only handles interlaced 1080i, but a workflow I previously published solved the problem and allowed Staff/HDTV to have their cake and eat it too. Details ahead.

Why not a Tricaster from NewTek?

As stated above, Staff/HDTV of Guatemala strongly considered getting a NewTek TriCaster, but they really needed 8 HD-SDI inputs on their video mixer (“switcher”), and although the TriCaster 860 (shown above) indeed offers 8 HD-SDI inputs and compelling features, it was way out of Staff/HDTV’s price range.

Readers should note that I still have my TriCaster Mini review pending sometime after I receive a review unit. In the meantime, see my TriCaster Mini from NewTek: a first (but intense) look from October 2014.

Enter the HS2800 mobile studio package from Datavideo

 

The US$9000 HS2800 from Datavideo is a mobile studio, whose heart is the SE–2800 video mixer (“switcher”). For that price, the HS2800 package includes the following:

  • SE–2800 video mixer with 8 HD-SDI inputs (expandable to 12)
  • 4 audio inputs with adjustable delay for each
  • a rugged plastic carrying case
  • an integrated 17.3″ LCD monitor which shows sources, preview, and program
  • 2 x SDI outputs
  • HDMI monitor output
  • a T-Bar manual transition controller
  • 2 downstream keyers
  • cut, mix and wipe transitions
  • a gooseneck microphone
  • 4 intercom headsets (expandable)
  • 4 ITC–100SL beltpacks for the ITC–100 intercom system (expandable)
  • a TD–1 tally light set (expandable)
  • 4 x 20 meter (65-foot) extension cables for ITC–100
  • an AC Cord
  • a Power Supply
  • 4 male<>female 3.5mm stereo mini-jack tally light cables
  • a USB light
  • a limited 1-Year Warranty, extendable to 2-years with product registration within 30 days of purchase

Unlike any TriCaster, the HS2800 mobile studio lacks a character generator, inboard virtual sets, inboard scopes, DDRs (digital disk recorders), a recorder, or inboard streaming. However what Staff/HDTV really needed to complement the 8-input HS2800 for their current productions was a 4:2:2 HD recorder that could remove the 1080/29.97PsF pulldown (which appears like 1080/59.94i to appease the SE–2800) and built-in scopes (waveform monitor and vectorscope).

Enter the Shogun recorder from Átomos

I first wrote about the Shogun in April 2014 (Átomos announces Shogun 4K 4:2:2 recorder/monitor w/ balanced audio, shown above) and my review is pending sometime after I receive a review unit.

Although the Shogun recorder is also capable of recording Ultra HD, when Staff/HDTV of Guatemala uses it to record multicam live-switched via the SE2800, it records 1080/29.97p. At first it wasn’t apparent how to invoke the reverse telecine/remove 2:2 pulldown, but then I pointed out that it is indeed documented on page 31 of the Shogun manual, where it states that for 29.97p from a 29.97PsF source, we must simply press the blue arrow on the input menu repeatedly until the desired 1080p format is displayed. Then it reverses telecine and records pure 1080/29.97p.

The Shogun (like the Ninja Blade and Samurai Blade) can have its inboard display calibrated for Rec. 709 using the optional Átomos Spyder monitor calibration system as I described in detail in Review: Átomos Spyder monitor calibration system. The Shogun also has a built-in waveform monitor and vectorscope, which compensates for a lack of them included in the HS2800.

Staff/HDTV of Guatemala plans to take advantage of the 4K Ultra HD feature of the Shogun when they connect it to their new 4K Sony cameras directly, but not presently for live-switched multi-camera shoots.

Competition in the standalone 4:2:2 recorder market with built-in 2:2 reverse telecine?

The only other standalone 4:2:2 recorder manufacturer that I know that is also capable of reverse telecine from 2:2 pulldown 29.97PsF and 25PsF is Video Devices, a division of Sound Devices. However, to my knowledge, none of Video Devices’ current products have a calibratable Rec. 709 screen or 4K UHD recording. If I become aware of any other that currently exists on the market, I’ll update this article accordingly.

Reviewing the live PsF removal workflow

This is expressed in general terms, since the exact menu terms vary with particular cameras:

  • Set the camera to shoot (i.e. image) 1080/29.97p (sometimes rounded to “30p”). In PAL or EX-PAL areas, set the camera to shoot 1080/25p.
  • Set the camera to output 1080/59.94i (sometimes rounded to “60i”) so it will actually output 1080/29.97PsF. In PAL or EX-PAL areas, set the camera to output 50i, which will actually be 25PsF.
  • Set the SE–2800 video mixer (“switcher”) to 1080/59.94i. Unlike with other Datavideo mixers I have seen, with the SE–2800, this change is made via a Flash Update Utility which runs on a computer. In PAL or ex-PAL areas, set the SE–2800 video mixer (“switcher”) to 1080/50i.
  • On the Shogun recorder, press the blue arrow in the input menu repeatedly until the desired 1080p format is displayed: 1080/29.97p for NTSC or ex-NTSC areas, or 1080/25p for PAL or ex-PAL areas.

For information about Staff/HDTV in Guatemala, visit its website. Thanks to Staff/HDTV for the image of the SE2800 with the Shogun.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…
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