[SatNews] Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance is launching their SOLO8 SDR, an ultra-small camera-back transmitter that for the first time takes the description “software-defined” into the RF world.
SDR is short for “software defined radio”, which Cobham sees as the next generation of wireless broadcast products. To be unveiled for the first time at IBC 2015 (Stand 1.F41), the new SOLO8 SDR is a COFDM digital video transceiver with an exceptionally high density of connectors. Its ease of integration, small form factor, and ultra-low power consumption (between 5 to 10W)—coupled with its ability to perform multiple functions in a single unit - will significantly reduce the amount of equipment needed to be carried into the field, and reduce the inventory typically needed to be carried by hire companies.
The SOLO8 SDR new software platform can run a wide range of highly useful apps, much like a smartphone, and can—on request—instantly change functionality to respond to varying requirements in the field. This means fewer devices, but more useful functionality. Moreover, with 128 GB of integrated video storage, the SOLO8 SDR takes advantage of a high performance video codec that supports dual HD-SDI inputs as well as USB and Ethernet I/O interfaces. The Ethernet interface also supports IP video streaming via RTSP and multicast streaming. The unit’s ultra-low latency High Profile H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) encoding ensures excellent image quality retention over a wireless link or contested IP network. The combination essentially makes the SOLO8 SDR an IP encoder, front-end recorder, and a COFDM TX, all in a single lightweight, compact, and highly portable unit.
The transmitter also includes an ISM band telemetry receiver that allows return command and control information to be sent to the unit. Command information can be used to control inbuilt recording and power on and off the unit, and the return data link has sufficient capacity to support commands for a connected camera.
Those involved in live sport and event coverage, Cobham’s new SOLO7-OB Tx will be of special interest. The SOLO7-OB Tx is a new camera-back transmitter that features 1080p60 and 4:2:2 with integrated camera control. It includes swappable RF modules (340MHz – 8.6GHz) and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video encoding. Its latency, depending on mode, ranges from 1s to an ultra-low 10ms, which when coupled with ultra-low power consumption delivers extended performance in the field.