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Orad Takes Video Walls to 4K

Orad Hi-Tec Systems has launched a PowerWall graphics solution that can provide high-resolution 4K graphics on video walls. The system, which the company says is the first to offer this kind of resolution for video walls using a single unit, is particularly appealing in HD broadcast studio production environments because the high 4K resolution makes it possible to zoom in on the video wall without the images looking pixilated.

One unnamed European broadcaster is expected to deploy the product shortly. "We've had a lot of interest in the product because there aren't any solutions on the market that offer graphics at this high of a resolution," using a single box, said Martin Appleton, product manager for the PowerWall product at Orad.

Orad developed the product after hearing from "a lot of customers that they were thinking of getting into video walls but that the output resolutions of most systems was quite low," which made them difficult to use in HD productions, Appleton said. "So we took our hardware, the HDVG unit, which is widely used for HD broadcasts and repurposed it for 4K."

In the PowerWall system, the new HDVG4K unit is capable of putting out four HD signals that can work on any size video wall, Appleton said. "With the HDVG4K unit you can have a total resolution of 3840 by 2160 for [a video wall with a two by two aspect ratio]. But it also works for screens that are very narrow and wide, say four by one with a resolution of 7680 by 1080."

Other 4K video wall solutions on the market use multiple boxes rather than the PowerWall's single HDVG4K unit, which supports up to 4 HD and 8 SD video insertions. "In the other video wall solutions, multiple boxes provide a separate signal that is then combined on the screen," explains Appleton, who adds that this approach takes up more space and makes it harder to manage the systems output. "If one of those boxes gets out of synch, then you have problems."

Combining the functions of four units into one also significantly reduces the cost of the upgrade to a high resolution video wall.

Besides the HDVG4K unit, the system uses Orad's 3Designer graphic creations package and it can be seamlessly integrated into the existing newsroom and automation systems.

In the run-up to NAB Orad will be making enhancements to the system that will allow it to work with interactive applications and touch screen video walls, Appleton said. "We expect to be showing interactive applications at the NAB," he added.