US-based company Plura has introduced a new range of web-enabled production timers from its Alpermann-Velte brand of infrastructure solutions for connected studios.
The company, which demonstrated prototypes of the timers at IBC, explained that the broadcast and production industry has lacked options for professional timers and clocks over the past two years, with established vendors ending support of these often underappreciated studio tools.
The Alpermann-Velte SPT family from Plura includes rackmount and tabletop versions, each capable of distributing six different timers across unlimited associated hardware or software devices.
With freedom to deploy any combination or number of these readout devices, studios can gradually scale the timer network as requirements grow. The networked SPT architecture, which includes Power over Ethernet (PoE) signal distribution, also enables synchronisation with studio clock reference systems, as well as IP control across all connected devices to start, stop, reset and adjust other timer settings.
The SPT range delivers software-defined intelligence to advance production timer applications in broadcast and production facilities. As with the best legacy timer products, SPT solutions offer to-the-second precision for countdowns leading in and out of transitions, live or recorded, ensuring seamless continuity between programs and advertisements. Unlike legacy timers, SPT products integrate seamlessly with leading multiviewers, incorporating digital timers and/or analog clocks into the visual display. This interoperability promotes a cleaner end-to-end production operation for control room and technical staff tasked with program direction and monitoring.
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The specialised SPT mobile app further enhances production in the connected studio, providing a wireless control environment for personnel moving around the control room or production floor.
Available for most mobile devices, users can control the same functions as a wired SPT solution, and view countdowns and other timer functions on a corresponding tablet – a unique attribute and an industry first for production timers.
The IP-based SPT design also simplifies integration of the timer network. With minimal connections required, facilities can use existing infrastructure for PoE signal distribution and eliminate complex LTP legacy wiring in favour of standard network cables. The design also eliminates large time generator units, reducing costs and adding flexibility to the distribution architecture. Furthermore, the central rackmount or tabletop unit can exist in another facility, with all addressing, timing adjustments and device control accommodated over the internet.
“The SPT Series represents a modern timer distribution system that is easy to deploy and easy to use, filling the hole left by vendors who no longer serve this space while evolving production timers for the network,” said Reimund Baeuerle, co-managing director, Plura Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of Plura Broadcast.
“This is tried-and-true Alpermann-Velte innovation, developed from a 30-year foundation of leadership in timecode solutions while leveraging the possibilities of IP. There is no doubt that IP is the future for connectivity in broadcast and production, and this innovation is a significant step in building a connected studio infrastructure.”
Plura is the parent company of Plura Broadcast Inc, based in the US, and Plura Europe GmbH based in Germany.