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NAB Briefs

WSI sees sunny NAB

Weather Services International (WSI) is introducing two products at NAB. Vortex is a proprietary weather-forecasting engine that works with the other product, TrueView, which takes the information from the Vortex and renders it so that present, past and future conditions can be accessed in real time.

The TrueView Hand Tracking option allows weathercasters to interact with Vortex data live and in-key via LCD drawing tablet, touch-screen or off-camera using a mouse. Pricing depends on configuration.

Dolby quiets NAB

Dolby is introducing the LM100 loudness meter. Designed to address loudness inconsistencies between channels and programs, the $2,995 unit gives broadcasters the ability to eliminate subjective loudness differences.

Also new from Dolby is the DP564 multichannel audio decoder for $4,900; it decodes and monitors Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround and PCM soundtracks and also has Dolby Digital Surround EX and Pro Logic II decoding.

SGI adds Fuel to NAB

SGI's latest visual workstation, Fuel, hits the NAB floor this week. The IRIX-based graphics workstations has a MIPS R14000A processor and VPro 3-D graphics system as well as 48-bit RGBA and support for up to 4 MB of cache and up to 4 GB of memory.

Also on display from SGI is a new HD graphics-to-video output option for Octane 2 with DMediaPro DM2 for editing, compositing and real-time graphic needs. A new SGI VOD server based on Thirdspace open video server (OVS) software is also being shown.

Autocue barter deal

Newsroom-system manufacturer Autocue Systems is giving customers a chance to trade or barter advertising spots for its QSeries newsroom production system.

The company has exclusive deals with trade companies Active International and Media-Pac for the deals. The agreement can be either long or short term; the company also says that, when the economy bounces back, it may convert customers back to a cash system.

VCI shoots for stars

VCI's Stars II+ integrated sales, traffic and automation system offers new enhancements: integrated electronic contracting, improved automation capabilities and a reporting module with increased flexibility in report creation and scheduling.

Users also can e-mail reports and business documents in secure PDF formats from within the system—an industry first, according to the company.

The latest version of VCI Sales Desk, a sales-force-automation system, is also being demonstrated with new features, such as real-time graphical comparisons of revenue performance. Pricing on the products varies with the size of the system.

Williams launches IP service

Williams Communications is launching broadcast-quality video services over its Internet Protocol (IP) network at NAB. The service can be used to transmit file-based content and live MPEG-2 video among networks, affiliates and content owners.

The company says monitoring is done with Williams Communications' Web-based Net InView system.

Andrew intros LP antenna

The AL8 Plus antenna from Andrew is designed for low-power digital and analog TV needs. The horizontally polarized UHF antenna can handle 10 kW of power for digital broadcasts and 23 kW for analog. It also has an effective radiated power level up to 450 kW (1 MW analog).

The company's trade-up program permits broadcasters transmitting a low-power DTV signal to receive 50% of the AL8 Plus purchase price as a credit toward a high-end antenna. Pricing ranges from $5,200 for a 3-kW, eight-bay, omnidirectional antenna to $19,950 for a 10-kW, 12-bay directional.

Real-time sets with Radamec's Scenario

Radamec Broadcast Systems is introducing Scenario XR, a virtual set system that renders in real time. It runs on a Windows NT operating system and imports 3-D set designs from industry-standard software packages like 3D Studio Max. A touch-screen interface with operators' control panel provides dedicated control of the system.

It works in conjunction with another new Radamec product, the 436 studio robotic camera head. Pricing on both is to be determined.