At VidOvation we are asked every day what makes the ABonAir AB512 wireless video camera system different from the competition. This is a great question! This is not a simple answer as there are more than 11 reasons or differentiators separating the ABonAir AB512 from other wireless camera systems in the market.
- Up to 50 Mb per second throughput – The competition doesn’t come close.
- 7 msec latency or delay – The competition is 20 to 90 msec. There are low-cost wireless video solutions on the market from VidOvation (such as the VidOlink Reacher) and other providers with close to zero latency. These systems use very aggressive encoding techniques to manage bandwidth while maintaining very low latency. These systems sacrifice video quality for lower latency. We consider these systems more of a professional solution and not applicable for true broadcast applications. The ABonAir AB512 system maintains a better than +52db PSNR for broadcast picture quality. The ABonAir AB512 provides 7 msec latency while maintaining true broadcast video quality. For critical broadcast applications, the ABonAir AB512 is the only choice.
- Variable Bit-rate – The encoder will automatically increase or decrease the video bit-rate depending upon the RF conditions. With the competition, you have to stop transmission to change your bit rate. This is very difficult for a camera operator to achieve while shooting live in the field.
- Dynamic Modulation – All COFDM wireless video systems use higher-order modulation techniques to transmit more than one bit per symbol. It is analogous to having a data bus of 2, 4, 16, 32 bits or more
transmitted through the air. For example, QPSK or quadrature phase-shift keying provides two bits per symbol and 16QAM doubles the throughput to 4 bits per symbol. This facilitates a higher throughput bit rate for wireless transmission. The ABonAir AB512 system automatically adjusts the complexity of the modulation scheme depending upon the quality of the RF video link. Higher-order modulation is more susceptible to interference and noise so the AB 512 automatically adjusts to optimize video quality while ensuring a robust and reliable connection. The competition has the ability to change the modulation scheme but the camera operator has to stop the transmission and go into the menu to change the settings. The competition does not automatically or dynamically change the modulation.
- Dynamic forward error correction (FEC) – forward error correction ads extra bits or overhead to provide a wireless transmission with added redundancy and reliability. Statistically speaking forward error correction is needed only 1% of the time. So why have forward error correction active during the other 99% of the time when it’s not needed. By leaving forward error correction on continuously, video quality is reduced. The ABonAir AB512 automatically adjusts the level of forward-error-correction depending upon RF and transmission conditions. If the transmission link is robust and no packets are being dropped forward error correction is shut off or reduced. This provides additional bandwidth for the video payload thus improving video quality automatically. The competition has forward error correction but the camera operator will have to stop transmission and go into the set up to increase or decrease the level of forward-error-correction. The AB512 adjusts forward error correction as needed automatically.
- Bidirectional RF Radio – the ABonAir AB512 wireless video system was built from the ground up with a fully bidirectional RF radio. This provides a bidirectional link between the receiver and the
transmitter. Bidirectional radio provides the means for low latency camera control and intercom. Other systems on the market are actually an integration of several different vendors. The competitor’s system will have video transmitter and receiver boards from vendor A and camera control and paint boards from vendor B. Each of these systems run independently on different radios and different frequencies. There is no optimization of each of the signal path so each system operates independently and unpredictably. The competition has no integrated capability for an intercom.
- Wireless Teleprompter and Video Return System – ABonAir’s wireless teleprompter and video return system incorporates a return path for a teleprompter, video return, CCU and Intercom. The new system allows TV production crews to use a wireless camera with all its functionalities (as with a wired camera) and not neglecting any feature that is essential for a tier-1 broadcaster production.
- Automatic Frequency Hopping & Spectrum Analyzer – The AB 512 uses the unlicensed 5 GHz RF frequency band. The system will automatically find a 5 GHz frequency channel that is clean and free of interference and not utilized by another system. The AB512 continuously scans the entire 5 GHz spectrum monitoring RF channel conditions. If the condition should change the system will automatically switch to a different channel to prevent dropouts and signal loss. In the event that frequency coordination is required, the AB512 has a manual override to lock the system to a specific channel. The AB512 system is so incredibly agile it negates the necessity for the use of a more costly license RF channels such as 2 GHz or 7 GHz.The use of the 5 GHz spectrum can be problematic in less sophisticated wireless solutions. The ABonAir 5 GHz wireless technology is designed to thrive in a congested and noisy RF environment. The built-in spectrum analyzer continuously scans for the cleanest available frequency. The dynamic forward error correction (FEC) and automatic re-requests (ARQ) correct any packet loss automatically. The dynamic modulation and adaptive bit rate also compensate for changing RF conditions. The Arizona Cardinals, State Farms Stadium operate the AB512 for crowded NFL games. There are numerous NCAA and college stadiums utilizing the ABonAir technology with flawless operation. Here’s a list of extremely large and crowded venues utilizing the ABonAir 5 GHz technology:1. LSU tiger stadium – 102K
2. Alabama Bryan Denny – 101K
3. Georgia Sandford – 92K
4. Nebraska Memorial – 86K
- Automatic Re-requests or ARQ – The ABonAir AB512 is the only microwave wireless video link with ARQ. In IP video transmission there is a common technique to recover lost video packets during transmission. The first line of defense is typically forward error correction as mentioned above. If FEC should fail, ARQ kicks in where the receiver will ask the transmitter to resend missing packets. A bi-directional link is required for ARQ. The competition cannot provide ARQ since they do not have a bi-directional RF radio.
- Integrated Intercom & Paint – The ABonAir AB512 has fully integrated 2-wire and 4-wire Intercom. The competition has no ability to provide an integrated intercom capability. The bi-directional RF radio with FEC, ARQ, Variable Bit-rate, and Adaptive Modulation provides the industries most reliable wireless transmission system for the transport of broadcast-quality video, audio, intercom, paint, and tally.
- Lower Cost – When comparing the ABonAir AB512 to comparable systems in the market, the cost savings is more than 50%. In many cases, key features are missing such as intercom and fiber-optic coverage extenders. The reason for this is that the AB512 platform was designed from the ground up with a bidirectional radio to support broadcast-quality video transmission at 7 ms latency fully integrated with low latency camera control and intercom. The system is not a hodgepodge of integrated parts from multiple vendors making the cost extremely expensive. The AB512 was designed properly from the ground up to meet the technical requirements of shooting a live event wirelessly while being conscious of the customer’s budget.
- Fiber Coverage Extenders or FCE – There are many applications where you need wireless camera coverage in multiple areas. The old approach is to use an RF distributed antenna system requiring bulky RF cables to distribute antennas throughout your venue. This is expensive and complicated. The AB512 has optional Fiber Coverage Extenders (FCE) to extend your RF wireless camera coverage to as many as 256 zones. No bulky and expensive RF cables are needed. The FCE’s use preferable and less expensive fiber optic connectivity.