Amsterdam-based content services provider NOMOBO has chosen Hitomi Broadcast’s MatchBox Latency to ensure complete timing quality control assurance during remote production of live events for its corporate and entertainment clients. NOMOBO relies on this latest feature of the MatchBox product range, the industry’s premier audio video alignment toolbox, to ensure a fast and precise measurement of latency and lip-sync timing alignment across live feeds coming in simultaneously from multiple locations to its master control room (MCR) in Amsterdam. The system was supplied by Hitomi’s Belgian distributor DigiNet.
“For us it is critical that we know that every signal is 100 percent accurate,” commented Marcus Hersbach, Technical Producer at NOMOBO. “We had already been using Glass and knew what it could achieve, now the latency feature gives us that extra level of assurance with pinpoint accuracy. It is a very easy way to make sure all the cameras – wherever they are in the world – are synced correctly. When working on large remote programmes there is not a lot of time for physical checks, plus we are trying to reduce the number of people on location. MatchBox takes the guesswork and human error out of the equation and does it in minutes. It is now an integral part of every project we work on.”
Typically, broadcast equipment adds delay that can vary each time it is used, particularly in the type of long-distance remote production that NOMOBO specialises in. Delays need to be synchronised between different paths for a seamless viewer experience. Determining those offsets theoretically can take up a lot of engineering time but MatchBox Latency handles the process in a matter of seconds.
A timed test pattern – generated with MatchBox Generator or an iOS device running the free-to-download MatchBox Glass app held in front of the camera – is launched as the source. This is then received and decoded by the MatchBox Analyser located in an OB truck or MCR to confirm the timing measurement. The method acts like a multi-meter for signal timing with a probe at each end of the section of interest. Fast, easy to use and accurate, Hitomi’s MatchBox solution simplifies the task of measuring latency and gives a lip-sync reading as well.
Hitomi’s Broadcast Director, Russell Johnson, said, “Much is talked about the need for “low latency,” but it is rarely quantified. When you watch someone being interviewed from a remote location there is often a pause in continuity with the handover from the studio and return. MatchBox Latency measures how long that pause needs to be for each link in order to achieve perfect timing. It can ascertain if the pause is comfortable for a two-way conversation or if it is too long to be able to interact in a live situation and all questions must be asked upfront. We are delighted that NOMOBO is enjoying the benefits.”
MatchBox is designed to help broadcasters prepare for live transmissions and other applications where the exact timing needs to be measured. Measurements not only provide data for corrections but also valuable peace of mind by delivering the certainty that everything is aligned perfectly.
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