Abekas AirCleaner and ClipStoreMXc Clean the Broadcast Air at Beijing

When the Olympics commence in Beijing next week, Abekas
cannot ensure clean air in the skies, but the company is doing its part to
ensure a clean broadcast of the event. Abekas is delivering more than 20
AirCleaner HD/SD digital video/audio profanity delay systems to China for use
by major broadcasters Hebei-TV and Jiangsu-TV during the Beijing Olympic Games.
These broadcasting companies will employ AirCleaner in their production studios
during live broadcast of the Games.
At the push
of a button, AirCleaner screens offensive visual content with a gradual
real-time defocus operation using a built-in visual effects engine. At first
sign of a visual offense, the operator presses a trigger that defocuses the
video and wraps back into focus when the screening button is released.
“The video
defocus effects engine is unique to our product,” explains Douglas Johnson,
chief product manager for Abekas. “It simulates that the camera shooting the
shot goes out of focus momentarily. In competing delay systems, the trigger
button switches to another camera feed, so there’s a continuity change in the
program. This will produce a visual change as well, but it does not rely upon a
secondary feed, so you can use the main line feed and defocus it as you need to
mask things.”
For audio
offenses, the AirCleaner offers a real-time audio jumble feature.
“When the
operator triggers the audio masking button, there’s a special algorithm that we
use to break up the audio content and play chunks of it reverse,” Johnson
explains. “It sounds like the person who’s speaking has just switched into a
foreign language that no one understands.”
Both
masking operations are much less jarring for the television audience when
compared with competing delay systems which can only abruptly change to a
“safe” visual and which blurt a harsh “beep tone” when concealing spoken
content.
The Abekas
system provides anywhere from a few frames to 60 seconds of delay, depending on
the operators’ preference, and offers the option to put two delay lines in
series.
“For high
profile live events, you can take the one machine and divide the delay into two
and have two operators operating in series,” Johnson explains. “If the first misses
some visual or audio offense, the second has an opportunity to catch that
offense. It’s like having two delay lines in series inside one machine.”
The Abekas
ClipStoreMXc HD/SD disk recorder is also in use at the summer Games by Swedish
broadcaster SVT. Several dozen ClipStoreMXc machines are deployed in
professional HD mobile television trucks around the world, with the primary
purpose of replaying animated graphics transitions, show openings and sponsor
promotions during live television broadcasts, live corporate and live
entertainment events.