News Blog

Upgrades to Bluebell BN390 Multiplexer Enable New 4K UHD Conversion Options and Remote Configuration

As UHDTV takes hold, single-cable transport of 4K signals is becoming more and more imperative. That’s why Bluebell has put considerable effort into building such a solution: the BN390 stand-alone interface supporting 4K/UHDTV in broadcast studios and outside broadcast (OB) applications, especially sport. With the BN390 multiplexer, broadcasters can avoid using quad HD links, which are cumbersome and time-consuming to rig and install, in favour of sending all signals on a single coax or fibre cable. There are few if any other products like the BN390 on the market today.

There are two BN390 modules: a multiplexer and a demultiplexer. An IN and an OUT. That’s it. However, despite their simplicity, the BN390 units are highly sophisticated configurable tools for conversion between of all the various formats of 4K UHD.

Because 12G-SDI doesn’t travel far on copper, these units come with optical ports as standard. The factory default is set to convert four 3G-SDI signals on four BNC connectors to 12G-SDI on a single BNC and fibre optic output. Beyond the default, a slew of configurables includes HD-SDI, 6G-SDI, dual link, and two identical 12G-SDI images.

Besides supporting SNMP access, each BN390 unit serves its own web page for management, setup, and configuration. An RJ45 port means the module can be connected directly to a laptop or hung on a network. The latest version maps the existing control software to Bluebell’s emerging GUI technology built for simple hardware control during remote production. The GUI is a powerful, fast interface that controls the input signal format and the output format. It also works as a network monitor that reports signal loss and other error states.

The BN390 is small enough to be strapped to the side of a camera. Most 4K cameras present their UHD signals across four BNC connectors, creating a headache for the operator, who must manage four coaxial cables on the floor out the back of the camera. Using the BN390 alleviates that problem because operators need only deal with a single fibre optic cable or a single coax — making setup tidy and less time-consuming.

Besides studio and OB applications, the BN390 has also been used in 4K edit suites. Most post houses already have fibre installed, so jumping on to their in-house networks is the perfect way to move content between processes. For example, converting to fibre has proven to be a very neat solution for moving rushes from one suite to another.

In short, the BN390 is a small-form-factor, cost-effective, super-efficient, agile, easy-to-operate multiplexer product that slots into a 4K UHD workflow beautifully. Simply plug it in, configure it, and go. Unique in its performance capability and signal integrity, the BN390 saves time and labour — and therefore money — for the operator.

Product of the Month BN365 12G-SDI

The BN365, is a stand-alone 12G Fibre transport module now upgraded to achieve better performance; cleaner, crisper pictures; and longer distances. Like its BN390 cousin, the BN365 is available with CWDM optics. They are extremely compact single channel fibre optic converters that are perfectly suited to provide interference free transmission and for extending the range of electrical signals, particularly 12G-SDI signals.

Each one is housed in a compact robust enclosure and is designed for Outside Broadcast and special events as well as Studios.

Power is provided via the optional PS12 unit. The PS12 has an IEC mains inlet allowing easy adoption into standard equipment bays. The BN365 has a 4 pin XLR allowing power from a variety of external DC sources in the range 4.5 to 17 V.

Bluebell Wins Emmy® Award for SDI-Over-Fibre Technology

Bluebell Opticom Ltd today announced it has earned an Emmy® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for pioneering development of SDI over fibre optic networks.

The award comes as part of the 69th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards announced in early September and the award ceremony will be held on 8th April 2018 at the NAB Show convention.

When Bluebell, a 24-year-old company, began making equipment that converted SDI to light, it 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 over the years and am so pleased that we have been recognised for those achievements by The National Academy of Arts & Sciences,” said Paul Felix McCann, managing director, Bluebell Opticom. “It’s thrilling to see that what started out as a good idea for a product has been embraced by the whole industry. This is a great honour for us and means a huge amount to me personally.”

Bluebell Introduces Hothead Silhouette

Bluebell today announced the launch of the Hothead Silhouette, an end-to-end, self-contained power, control, and video tool for 4K robotic-camera productions. Hothead Silhouette replaces copper cabling with one hybrid cable and, more 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 powering.

Intended for ingest and production of live events at sports arenas, theatres, stadiums, and other venues, the Hothead Silhouette 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 and still have full control. They can manage the robotic heads from the same place as the standard manned cameras, and all control, services, and ingest can be sent via fibre to the production truck and consolidated with the other production facilities.

“The whole idea behind a robotic camera head is that the operator can be located away from the camera, while the heads can be put in places manual cameras can’t get to. It’s a great notion, but it’s sometimes hard to put into practice given the challenges of distance and power, especially with data-heavy 4K shoots,” said Paul Felix McCann, managing director, Bluebell Opticom. “Hothead Silhouette eliminates those challenges so operators can control robotic camera systems from a warm, dry cabin or OB truck rather than being perched on the side of a stage — or worse, underneath it — at any live event.”

Hothead Silhouette is part of Bluebell’s successful Silhouette range of throw-down units aimed at ingest, remote production, power, and camera control. The product is available now and will be on display at IBC2017 on stand 10.F24.

Bluebell Opticom at IBC2017

Rack-Mountable One-Cable 12G-SDI Connectivity for 4K Broadcast Applications.

Bluebell Opticom has created a suite of Fibre Optic transport products that provides a single coax or fibre connection to a 12-Gbps SDI video interface for 4K/UHD applications.

On display at IBC2017, will be the newly upgraded BN390 unit, which combines four 3G-SDI signals onto one 12G-SDI signal via single-mode fibre output. Now with auto-sensing technology, the BN390 automatically detects the format of the incoming signal and configures itself to transport the signal accordingly.

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Bluebell Introduces Edgware Encapsulator

Bluebell Introduces Edgware Encapsulator for Simple, Compact, Affordable SDI Signal Transport Over IP

Bluebell Opticom Ltd., today announced the launch of the Edgware SMPTE 2022-7 IP encapsulator. Edgware interfaces 3G-SDI signals directly with IP networks, enabling robust, resilient IP delivery from devices with unprecedented compactness, affordability, and simplicity.

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Software Engineer wanted

Berkshire based Broadcast manufacturing company is expanding its software department.
We are looking for a top flight Graduate Software Developer to join our team. The right candidate should have good communication skills and be able to work within a tight knit team made up of various engineering disciplines or undertake projects individually. We are looking for someone with ambition, drive and personality.

All candidates must have the following,
A-levels in maths or science
Degree in engineering or maths

Essential skills

  • Programming in ‘C’
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel
  • Good written English & Grammar

Desirable skills

  • Working knowledge of
  • HTML, CSS, javascript
  • SNMP,Visio, Networking (DHCP, DNS)

Salary will be commensurate with aptitude and experience.

No Agencies

Please forward all CV’s to Paul McCann, Bluebell Opticom Ltd, Unit 2, The Quadrant, Howarth Road, Maidenhead, Berks, SL6 1AP. 01628510055

Bluebell Launches Stand-Alone Unit for Single-Cable 4K 12G-SDI Interface

bn390t-front-angledBERKSHIRE, U.K. — 9 September 2016 — Bluebell Opticom Ltd., provider of innovative fibre optic solutions for fixed and remote applications, today announced the launch of the BN390 stand-alone interface supporting 4K/UHDTV in broadcast studios and outside broadcast (OB) applications.

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Bluebell Announces ShaxX-GT, a SMPTE Hybrid-Alternative Connector Kit for Power Insertion to Grass Valley Cameras

 BERKSHIRE, U.K. 30 August 2016 — Bluebell Opticom Ltd., provider of innovative fibre optic solutions for fixed and remote applications, today announced ShaxX-GT, a new version of its ShaxX SMPTE hybrid-alternative connector kit for power insertion to broadcast cameras. This model is designed to work with broadcast cameras from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, which rely on a manufacturer-specific startup protocol to ensure a secure connection between the camera and the camera control unit (CCU).

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