Mobile Video Recorders and Video Monitors

  • With David Kirk

Mobile Video Recorders and Video Monitors

Contributing Editor David Kirk combines recent developments in two discrete product categories...

Video monitors with integral recording capabilities and standalone or rack-mountable video monitors - but stops short of the many camera-plus-viewfinder combinations. Video signal analysers are not covered in this review.

AJA Video Systems has announced version 2.0 firmware for its Helo Plus H.264 streaming/encoding/recording device. Available as a free download, it includes new improvements designed to streamline the delivery of live content. The update also introduces two new licensable features including simultaneous multi-channel stereo audio streaming/recording, and PlayToStream which lets users use a previously recorded program for a future streaming event. Available from the AJA support page, Helo Plus v2.0 includes new audio choices, full integration with Facebook Live, Plus SDI and HDMI status overlays. The PlayToStream license enables playout of a previously recorded show as a streaming source, even alongside another live stream being served. It can be used to record a live stream to a storage device connected to Helo Plus and play the stream as soon as the recording ends or later, which can be scheduled from the integrated web-browser GUI. Multi-channel stereo audio streaming is also available via a separate optional license that supports two simultaneous channels of stereo audio streaming/recording. With this feature, one audio stereo pair can be assigned to stream content in one language and the other to stream the same content in a different language for multilingual needs.

“Demand for streaming continues to grow across a range of industries, alongside customer expectations for more dynamic streams,” says AJA President Nick Rashby.

“Helo Plus was designed to help support this demand, enabling high-quality streaming with ultra-reliable performance and picture-in-picture and graphics functionality.”

Atomos’ new NDI HX2 firmware update, available for US$99 or €99, supports NDI HX2 transmission up to 1080p60 with Shogun Connect and Ninja V+ with Atomos Connect (1080p30 for Ninja V and Atomos Connect), while simultaneously recording in Apple ProRes or Avid DNx. Atomos provides wireless or wired NDI transmission, a live viewfinder and local recording from a single battery-operated device. “NDI is typically associated with fixed acquisition points, for example PTZ cameras,” says Atomos CEO Trevor Elbourne. “Now we are making it possible to use pretty much any HDMI or SDI-equipped camera as a mobile NDI source. It is the perfect solution for creatives who need their content delivered live to a remote device, for review, recording or transmission.” A camera and microphone can be connected by HDMI or SDI to the Atomos Connect series monitor/recorder, and then connected to a local area network using either Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. Once NDI is enabled to transmit, the video stream is available to any suitable device on the local area network subnet. The NDI stream can then be viewed, recorded, or used as a source for OBS or a NewTek TriCaster, and then retransmitted as part of a larger production.

Canon’s DP-V2730 monitor has a 4K UHD panel and 1,000 cd/m² full screen peak brightness, with Canon’s local dimming technology giving a black level of 0.001 cd/m². The monitor has an HDMI input and 12G-SDI terminals. Users can access four-way SDI input switching via an optional upgrade.

Datavideo’s HDR-80 is a desktop ProRes 4K recorder that captures video to two SSD drives. It has a high resolution 5 inch LCD touch screen on the front for video monitoring, device settings and configuration. The HDR-80 is able to record video in resolutions up to 2160p 60 using the available SDI and HDMI interfaces at the back. SDI is available in bitrates from HD up to 12G-SDI while HDMI connections support both HDMI 2.0 and 1.4 technology. With multiple HDMI and SDI inputs you can also record up to four 1080p sources at the same time. As one SSD fills up, the recording automatically continue on the next drive. Storage can be expanded by swapping a single drive.

Eizo’s new 31.5-inch EV3240X and 27-inch EV2740X UHD have a 3840 × 2160 pixels UHD resolution plus a pixel density of 140 and 163 pixels per inch respectively. Thanks to USB-C connectivity, the monitors have a built-in docking station that powers your entire workstation through a single cable - transmitting video and audio signals, Ethernet, connected USB devices, and supplying up to 94 W of power to a compatible device such as a laptop. The monitors have a dedicated LAN port and three USB Type-A ports plus an additional USB Type-C downstream port for connecting peripherals such as an external keyboard, mouse, or web camera.

Flanders' XMP550 is a 55 inch UHD resolution HDR and SDR reference mastering monitor built around a new QD-OLED panel with 2,000 nits peak luminance and 4,000,000:1 contrast. “The XMP550 qualifies as a Dolby Vision mastering monitor finally bringing an end to the days of compromising between smaller reference grade HDR displays and larger non-reference client displays,” says marketing manager Bryan Gordon. “The XMP550 delivers the best of both worlds with truly reference grade performance and professional connectivity in a form factor large enough for both the colourist and clients to view.”

Ikegami offers a wide range of broadcast picture monitors including the HQLM, HLM and ULE series. All monitors in the HQLM series are 4K-native models designed for broadcast mastering and grading applications. They comprise the 31 inch HQLM-3125X, 31 inch HQLM-3120W and 17 inch HQLM-1720WR. Features include HDR support (HLG, PQ, S-Log and S-Log3) plus eight colour space modes: ITU-R BT.2020, ITU-R BT.709, DCI-P3, ADOBE RGB, ACES, S-Gamut, S-Gamut3 and Cine. 12G-SDI, 3G-SDI and HD-SDI and HDMI connectivity is provided. Utility features include RGB and YCbCr waveform display, vectorscope, audio level meters, multiview and split-screen.

Ikegami’s HLM-Series monitors are Full HD-native models with optional support for HLG and S-Log HDR. They comprise the 17 inch HLM-1760WR and 9 inch HLM-960WR, both with 3G-SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI connectivity. Utility features include RGB and YCbCr waveform display, vectorscope, audio level meters, multiview and split-screen. “With their high picture quality, wide viewing angle and advanced features, the HLM-monitor series is the ideal choice for a wide range of broadcast applications and a perfect tool to match cameras,” comments Ikegami product specialist Gisbert Hochguertel.

Ikegami ULE-Series monitors are Full HD native models with 3G-SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI connectivity. Designed to be a cost-effective choice for all general viewing applications in the broadcast, corporate and industrial environment, they comprise the 21 inch ULE-217AR and 31 inch ULE-315.

JVC has introduced two additions to its DT-U series of 4K production monitors: the 17 inch DT-U17 and 24 inch DT-U24. These have 8-bit (DT-U17) and 10-bit (DT-U24) panel displays and 14-bit image processing plus HLG-HDR and PQ-HDR capability. Each is equipped with a 12G/6G/3G-SDI input, 4x 3G-SDI quad link input (both quad and 2SI), 4K60p HDMI 2.0 input, and additional 4K SFP display via optional plug-in SFP adaptor. A zero latency image processing mode allows lip-sync monitoring and a multiview mode enables four images to be reproduced on the screen simultaneously - from one 4K and three HD inputs. Other features include 3D LUT auto calibration, with built-in colour generator and calibration software. The monitors can be remotely controlled via IP.

Konvision has introduced two 4K/8K displays designed for reference monitor applications. The 31.5 inch KUM-3120S has a claimed 1,000,000:1 ultra-high contrast ratio and 0.0005 nit black, covering 99% of DCI-P3 and 80% of BT2020 colour gamut. The KUM-2720QD is a 27 inch display with 1000 nits peak brightness. A 10 bit IPS panel covers up to 98% P3 wider colour gamut. The monitor supports 12G-SDI and 3G-SDI at up to 8192 × 4320 60p. Osee offers a wide range of video monitors including, for studio and post production applications, the UHD LMW-4320. This has a 3840 × 2160 resolution 10 bit panel supports Gamma 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, HLG, PQ and SLog3 EOTF as well as Rec.709, P3, Rec.2020 and S-Gamut colour space. The LMW-4320 has quad-link 3G-SDI inputs that can support HD-SDI and 3G-SDI HD/2K plus 2SI and quad division UHD/4K. Typical contrast ratio is 3,000:1, luminance is 300 nits and viewing angle is 178 × 178 degrees.  

Postium’s OBM-8K/4K monitor series incorporates four 12G SDI inputs and active loop outs, an HDMI 2.0 input and two SFP cages. The OBM-8K/4K series accepts up to 7680 × 4320 60/59.94/50p video. Model OBM-U428K has a 3840 × 2160 UHD panel. HDR support includes EOTFs for PQ (SMPTE ST 2084), Hybrid Log Gamma and S-Log3 plus DCI-P3 and ITU-R BT.2020 wide color gamut.

RGB Link’s TAO 1pro is a streaming decoder with a 5.5 inch HD touchscreen plus a four-channels video switcher with two USB 3.0 and two HDMI 1.3 inputs. It supports streaming directly from its Ethernet output. The TAO 1pro is compatible with standard USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cameras using UVC protocol.

Swit’s new BM-U325MD uses local dimming technology and is claimed to deliver a brightness of 1500 nits plus a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. It has four 12G-SDI I/O channels and can accept 8K signals through SQD and 2-SI modes. Features include self-calibration, eye pattern and an SFP module interface.

TVLogic's LUM-310X-CI uses a 31 inch 4K-native dual layer S-IPS LCD panel with with a claimed 1,000 nit maximum luminance and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The color gamut range of the display is wide enough to cover 100% of BT.709, 99% of DCI-P3, and 86% of the BT.2020 standard.