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Leader Electronics Reports Successful 2021

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Leader Electronics has reported a highly successful 2021 with accelerating adoption of its video, audio and data test instruments by digital film and television content producers and broadcasters around the world.

New product developments during an eventful year included the LVB440 IP Analyzer which allows efficient quality-of-service monitoring and analysis of high bit-rate IP media traffic. Housed in a compact 1U, it is designed for use in broadcast production studios, OB vehicles, master control facilities and transmission networks. The LVB440 supports data rates of up to 50 gigabit/s, extending to 100 gigabit/s via dual interfaces. The core processor is more than capable of handling the 48 gigabit/s data rate required for full bandwidth source 8K. Included as standard, the Widglets API HTML5 video monitor allows waveforms from multiple cameras to be supervised via a single HTML5 video monitor view. The resultant data can be shared by production team members cooperating across multiple locations. An optional Instrument View Engine allows a user's 11 inch Apple iPad Pro mobile workstation to be deployed as a color-accurate touch panel with advanced analytics. Additional LVB440 features include JPEG XS analysis, closed captioning measurement, rolling packet capture measurement, 7.1 and 5.1 multichannel sound display and stereo mix-down monitoring.

Leader test instruments were the preferred choice for many major media organizations during the 2021 summer of sport, with increasing use of technologies such as UHD/HDR, immersive audio and remote IP production to give audiences an enhanced viewing experience. A popular choice was the LV5600 waveform monitor, used by outside broadcast operators to monitor SDI and IP sources simultaneously.

"The LVB440 was also deployed at these events, making Leader a one-stop shop for the entire spectrum of test and measurement from content capture right and remote-production monitoring right through to transmission," commented Leader Europe regional development manager Kevin Salvidge.

Video Assist Hungary, one of central Europe's most active media service providers, chose a Leader LV5350 waveform monitor as part of its expansion into 4K HDR video mastering, color grading and postproduction. The instrument is also being offered as part of the company's HDR rental fleet which is available both for OB content capture and in-studio finessing. "We have been using Leader test instruments very effectively for over 10 years, all of them purchased via Thameside TV," said Balázs Rozgonyi, Video Assist Hungary CEO.

"They enable our operators to make reliable and repeatable measurements quickly and easily. They also combine the multifunction toolset and robust build which are essential when working on location. The LV5350 is an ideal reference for camera crews shooting in 4K, ensuring that content is in perfect focus and correctly color balanced right at the start of the production process. It also contains all the tools needed during post to ensure the end result conforms to the precise standards required for terrestrial and satellite broadcasting as well as latest-generation 4K WCG HDR video-on-demand."

Phoebe Fraser Ltd, a specialist provider of production support services for film, television and radio, invested in a Leader LV5350 waveform monitor. The instrument is being used at the company's London headquarters and on location. Its first project was the film Matilda, based on the novel by Roald Dahl.

"The LV5350 is designed for 4K/HD/SD-SDI applications," said Leader Europe managing director Koichi Fukagawa. "It supports all the SDI facilities of our top-of-the-range LV5600 minus the IP measurement capabilities which many established facilities don't yet need. The LV5350 has proved especially popular with DITs and camera crews who like the ability to make side-by-side comparison of the output from two cameras, for example, during initial alignment."

AVC-Systems AG, one of Switzerland's leading providers of broadcast infrastructure and services, invested in a Leader LV5600 SDI/IP multi-screen waveform monitor as the reference core of a new IP demo unit. The demonstrator is used to explain the operational and technical advantages of IP connectivity to Swiss TV and radio channel managers, content producers, broadcast systems integrators and telco service providers. The model chosen is equipped with a 25 GbE single-mode video-over-IP/multi-mode fibre IP interface. The combination provides full conformance with the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards for transmitting full uncompressed 4K via Ethernet.

Awarding-winning London production and postproduction house Fifty Fifty chose a Leader LV5600 broadcast-quality waveform monitor for use at its Soho headquarters. The instrument is being used as the master reference for quality control of television and digital film productions. "The LV5600 provides all the tools we need to ensure conformance with the strict standards laid down by the major video-on-demand content providers," said Fifty Fifty's operational managing director Alex Meade. "The control menu is well structured and highly intuitive. A major advantage of the LV5600 is that its CINELITE and CINEZONE tools allow real-time signal monitoring, supported by the ability to drill down for closer study when specific elements of the signal flow need detailed inspection."

DIT and digital dailies service provider Mission invested in Leader LV5350 test instruments to support its monitoring of SDR and HDR on-set DIT, lab and DI pipelines. They are used primarily on location from the company's facility in North Kensington. "Leader test equipment has proved consistently accurate, versatile and robust over many years," commented Tom Mitchell, Mission's technical director. "They provide all the resources we need to ensure full signal quality is maintained right through the workflow chain from ingest to customer acceptance. The information DITs require is presented in a clean and logical style so that any defects in the source signal can be identified and corrected with maximum efficiency."

Kevin Bell, one of Britain's busiest digital imaging technicians, invested in an LV5350 waveform monitor. "The Leader LV5350 is an essential tool for DITs working in film and television," he commented. "It's packed with reference tools such as waveform, vectorscope, histogram and gamma displays, plus gamut and level error display. With the built-in CINELITE and CINEZONE, I can monitor f-stop values relative to a set reference point or convert picture luminance levels to an RGB or gradation display. There's also the option to add extra software modules as or when needed. Focus Assist helps make camera lens adjustment simpler and Customised Layout allows for custom multi-screen layouts. When using the rasterizing output, I can view on a second screen to compare multiple signal parameters simultaneously. I can also copy measurements to removable USB memory for reference and share with other technicians on-set, which is a very powerful resource. The Leader LV5350 is compact, portable and fast to set up and operate. It gives me the confidence that I always have the right tool, no matter where we're filming."

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