Phil

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About Phil

Back in the eighties (after having done a degree in maths & programming) Phil joined the BBC looking for the bright lights of show biz. After five years he headed to Soho and found no bright lights there. Having been tech supervisor on several years of Big Brother and Fame Academy he joined Root6 in 2003 to run the SI team and has finally realised that software was where the bright lights always were...!
"Is it broke?"

Calibrating monitors for HLG-1.2 High Dynamic Range working

We’ve now done a couple of Sony BVM-X300 (4k/HDR OLED panel) monitors for HDR-TV deliverables to the BBC. The Beeb are behind the Hybrid Log Gamma standard, currently at 1.2 for broadcast. It’s benefits over Dolby’s 10-bit version of their Vision HDR system (also called DolbyPQ) are many and rather splendidly the DVB as well [...]

By | 2017-04-13T08:29:42+00:00 March 14th, 2017|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

An excellent little monitor

It seems to be a thing for small on-set/camera monitors that they should have a hi-bright mode when being used in non-edit environments. The Boland BVB7a is an excellent little monitor and can be powered from the camera's 12v battery feed as well as coming with a DC PSU. It can take SDi (single or [...]

By | 2016-06-08T17:54:13+00:00 May 27th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: |0 Comments

BM UHD/4k converters – some gotchas

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/miniconverters/techspecs/W-CONM-17 I've used a few of these guys recently - Blackmagic's quad HD/SDi input to HDMI 2.0 output for taking the UHD / 4k (either tile or 2SI standard) and making something that will display on a 4k domestic TV. They seem to work quite well, but here are a few things that I had [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:39+00:00 May 12th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

A review of Colour Reproduction in Electronic Imaging Systems: Photography, Television, Cinematography by Michael S. Tooms

All of my colourimetry comes from doing it; my theoretical knowledge isn't that great as I didn't study it at university and the colour training at the Beeb, although entirely appropriate to what a TV engineer needs was just that; TV-centric. Over the last ten years I would credit the following industry colleagues for widening [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:41+00:00 April 5th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips, Training|Tags: |0 Comments

Tech Breakfast – “Encryption” Seminar Recording

Starting with the fundamentals of cryptography (difference between symmetric & public-key etc), Phil goes over the encryption techniques used in the Enigma machine (with a genuine, working example) through to HDCP and the other forms of content protection used in our industry: Symmetric vs Public-key crypto Examples – DES, AES/Rijndael etc HDCP, Blueray and the [...]

By | 2016-04-13T08:42:55+00:00 March 24th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Podcasts, Training|Tags: , |0 Comments

Shooting and editing HDR via Avid using CLog gamma

We've got BVE2016 coming up and one of the things root6 will be showing is an HDR workflow via Media Composer using Canon monitors. HDR is still a bit of a crap-shoot as far as standardisation is concerned with the BBC/NHK system, Dolby Vision, Sony's SLog3 and Canon's camera-native CLog. The principle of using an [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:42+00:00 February 12th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products, tips|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Audio over cat6a cable?

My podcast-partner in crime, the mighty Hugh Waters asked me how often I run audio signals over twisted-pair data cable in media facility builds. Has has a customer who is eager to do it this way. I’ve done it a few times and it’s fine with a few considerations. Earthing is still important and since [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:42+00:00 February 8th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: |0 Comments

Barnfind integration with third party control panels

Barnfind are one of the products I'm responsible for at Root6 and I love them for their forward looking attitude and the fact they embrace open standards; if you see an SFP hole or a BNC connector you know that it will work with any other manufacturers (unlike Evertz who re-define the standard and put [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:42+00:00 February 8th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products, Support|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Gotchas with updating firmware over RS232

I've recently been upgrading Boland BVB25 OLED monitors over their RS232 serial ports; aside from needing a USB/serial adaptor (I use the Keyspan which mimics an old PC serial UART) you also need a null-modem cable (i.e. where Tx and Rx are swapped over). You can tell if a null-modem cable is required by the [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:42+00:00 January 11th, 2016|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Podcasts, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

4k and UHD cabling and signal standards

I’ve had to dig into signal transport for 4k/UHD over the last week or so. Essentially I have a test-signal generator (SRI Visualizer TG100) running at a maximum raster of 4096×2160 at a maximum of 25 progressive frames/sec (and only 4:2:2 colour sampling; Y, Cr, Cb) with a 6G single-link output (so really 4 x [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:43+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Categories: Broadcast Engineering|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Canon’s 4k Native IPS television monitors

I had an excellent half day with Canon’s UK imaging display guys to look at their DP-V series 4k native displays. To my shame I had assumed that they would be like the HP Dreamcolor or Eizo ColorEdge series monitors which are advertised as being suitable for film and TV work but as I’ve often [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:43+00:00 December 4th, 2015|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Fibre infrastructure and CWDM developments

The most interesting things I saw at IBC last week were not software updates or new 4k workflow tools (save us from "workflow tools"!) but some developments from our good friends at Barnfind. Their current CWDM products top-out at 18-wavelengths on a single fibre, and if you need to pack more signals (synchronous broadcast; HD/SDi, [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:44+00:00 October 8th, 2015|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Typical edit suite monitor calibration; some traps for young players

I spent the morning in a very typical Soho edit room with a JVC DT-V24-series LED-backlit LCD as the "front of house" monitor and an LG LED-backlit LCD as the client display. It's quite easy to get the JVC looking right - BBC style 6504k for Rec.709; I've waffled on about this a lot in [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:45+00:00 August 7th, 2015|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Support, tips|Tags: , |0 Comments

Colourimetry and Boland broadcast monitors

This morning I did a presentation for the root6 Tech Breakfast series entitled “Colourimetry, Calibration and Monitoring” - You can grab my notes here This is all to promote the new US manufacturer we've taken on; for my money their BVB25-OL ED monitor is the best TV display for under £10k.

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:47+00:00 July 20th, 2015|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Events, Products|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Earth Leakage – in water!

I recently bought an Agilent U1191A clamp-meter. This is a piece of test equipment that can measure current flowing in a conductor without having to break the circuit (how you would if all you had was a digital multimeter). The jaws physically couple around the conductor in question and by induction you can measure the [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:53+00:00 January 12th, 2015|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Support|Tags: , |0 Comments

Why do manufactuers over-specify power requirements for broadcast equipment?

It's actually a rhetorical question and I'm glad they do. Most of the time I have to tell a customers' electrician and air-con contractor how much power (and hence how much heat) the machine room will be pulling/genarating. Most customers refuse to believe that 99.9% of the electrical power entering a server room/TV MCR leaves [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:53+00:00 January 12th, 2015|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , |0 Comments

Near synchronous video over UDP/IP with Sony's NXL-IP55

Just about the only things that caught my eye at the recent Beyond HD Masters day at Bafta was Sony's IP Live system. This is a single product called the NXL-IP55 which puts four 1080i 4:2:2 signals over a gigabit connection - so modest 6:1 compression with a well-defined single field of latency. The camera [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:54+00:00 November 19th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

What’s the best setting for Gamma with Rec.709 video?

 I've been calibrating TV displays for around twenty-five years and have always leaned on the BBC practice of setting peak white at 80Cd/m2 and the white point at 6504k. For all the decades of standard definition work a gamma of 2.2 has been used. This is required because television cameras don't have a linear transfer [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:55+00:00 November 19th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Perceptual video quality and compression – PSNR measurements

Compression is a fact of life, there have only been two production VTRs that stored uncompressed video – D1 and D5; they are no longer used because they were both SD (and D1 was only eight-bit video). So, the vast majority of the material we handle is compressed and so there should be a way [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:54:55+00:00 November 19th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Opinion, tips|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Barnfind’s high-speed data router and optical CWDM for TV infrastructure

Root6’s SI dept spent a few days last week in Norway as the guest of Barnfind in Sandefjord. Norway seems to be a lovely country if not a tad expensive (£24 for a round of three pints).  Barnfind are a small company whose engineers used to be with Nevion – you’ve probably come across their [...]

By | 2017-01-12T10:42:15+00:00 August 27th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

MPEG transport stream corruption; effect on pictures

I've been running training at the MET's video forensics lab soon and part of it is explaining how DCT-based compression works and particularly the effects of corruption on long-GOP MPEG transport streams as delivered in DVB-MUXes. One of the illustration videos is below. Three clips; each with a momentary corruption to the data stream and [...]

By | 2015-02-23T16:22:43+00:00 August 16th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering|0 Comments

Measuring fibre cabling and the problem of encircled flux loss

  Last week I went on a very interesting training day courtesy of Nexans – data cable & parts supplier. I went looking forward to learning all about the new standards surrounding catagory-8 cabling for 40 and 56 Gigabit ethernet (a massive 1600Mhz of bandwidth down a twisted pair cable!) and the new GG45 connector; [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:55:00+00:00 July 21st, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The challenges of modern picture quality analysis

Engineers have sought to quantify the quality of the video signal since the birth of television. Since all aspects of the TV picture are represented first by voltages (analogue) and then by numbers-in-a-bit-stream (digital) you have to make measurements to really know anything about the quality of your TV pictures. “When you can measure what [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:55:00+00:00 July 16th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Antrica video-over-IP encoder/decoders

Every TV industry magazine is currently honor-bound to run a “video-over-IP will replace baseband this year” article at least once every three months. Despite the attraction of sending video over networks there are fundamental problems related not to the fact that it’s a network (but, then again TCP/IP was never meant for synchronous, timely delivery [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:55:04+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: , |0 Comments

Colour results from a Sony PVM-2541 TriMaster OLED monitor

Having spent a bit more time with the Klein KT10-A probe I profiled the Sony monitor we hired to practice on. Here you can see the colour gamut for the displayed compared to the Rec709 colour space for television. I used the Klein “K Colorimeter” Windows software to make these measurements. Their ChromaSurf software, which [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:55:04+00:00 May 6th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering|Tags: , |0 Comments

Klein KT10-A photometer for TV colour cablibration

We had a splendid day at the Root6 workshop getting to grips with our new Klein KT10-A photometer and testing it out on a couple of Sony broadcast monitors; an LMD-series LCD and a PVM-series OLED. For many years we’ve been relying on the PM5639 colour probe – originally made by Phillips and now badged [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:55:10+00:00 May 2nd, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Bryant’s network control/measuring PDUs

http://www.bryant-unlimited.co.uk/eyepower.html My good pal Simon Quill at Bryant has been developing this line of intelligent bay mains distribution for the last few years and I bought a couple last year and have (due to the weight of work) only just got around to playing with them. Quite a lot of manufacturers offer remotely controllable power [...]

By | 2016-10-29T08:55:11+00:00 April 10th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, Products|Tags: , , |0 Comments