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National Noh Theater Upgrades System with ATEM Switchers and Smart Videohub

by PLSN Staff • in
  • Featured
  • Projection Connection News
• Created: June 21, 2018

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JAPAN — Blackmagic Design announced today that the Japanese National Noh Theater installed a number of Blackmagic products to create a workflow for their monitoring and recording system. The installed products include ATEM Television Studio Pro HD, ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K, HyperDeck Studio Mini, HyperDeck Studio Pro, Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12, SmartView 4K, SmartScope Duo 4K and Mini Converters.

More details from Blackmagic (www.blackmagicdesign.com):

National Noh Theater, built in 1983, is a national venue for performances of Noh and Kyogen. It boasts of a theater with 627 seats as well as a document library and reading rooms. Noh is a Japanese performing art with a history of over 600 years, its words and intonations carrying the style of the Muromachi period when Noh was born. It is registered as one of the Japanese important intangible cultural properties and is in the list of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. National Noh Theater preserves traditional cultural properties such as Kabuki, Bunraku, Noh and seeks to enlighten young people for these traditional performing arts. The theater installed for the first time in Japan the subtitle system for each seat so that a foreign audience can enjoy the performance.

National Noh Theater made a decision to upgrade their NTSC monitoring system that had been used since the opening for 35 years.

Akimitsu Baba, in the promotion department, was in charge of the equipment selection and he explained the reason for the system upgrade: “We thought it was necessary to catch up with the HD trend in the video industry. The recording system had been already upgraded to HD but the monitoring system remained in NTSC. To integrate these two systems, we decided to completely upgrade the monitoring system. We used to edit recorded video in a linear method. The linear editing takes too much time and entails huge risks of accidental errors. Therefore we selected Blackmagic products in order to achieve a smooth transition to a non-linear editing system.”

There are six cameras in total for monitoring: three for the stage, two for the rehearsal stage and one for the lecture room. Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12 is at the center of the system, routing these signals from six cameras to monitors in about twenty rooms. The monitors help announcers, lighting staff, janitors and performers know the process.

“In addition to the router, the system includes backup recording equipment. Camera signals are switched on ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K and the program output is recorded on HyperDeck Studio Pro. One of the reasons we decided on HyperDeck Studio Pro was that it supports XLR timecode input, which makes recorded material easier to edit afterwards. HyperDeck Studio Mini was installed to record a signal from a fixed camera for long shots, so that when there was a mistake in switching, the material from HyperDeck Studio Pro can be replaced with the one from HyperDeck Studio Mini. We made sure that the system can prevent possible errors. We are also striving to make use of DaVinci Resolve, since we aim for a transition to online non-linear editing.”

After being recorded and edited, video clips of performances at the theater are securely preserved at National Noh Theater as a cultural heritage. It is later used at screening events, lent to researchers or referred to as a document at lectures.

“I like ATEM Television Studio Pro HD because a switcher, a panel and an audio controller are all built in one product. It used to require up to six people for switching and recording, but now that we have installed Blackmagic products, you can even handle the system alone. This is a great advantage. Also, ATEM Television Studio Pro HD and ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K have built-in multi-view generators, which makes it possible to monitor multiple cameras in SmartView 4K. It is very efficient, because you don’t need a monitor for each camera. Moreover, ATEM switchers and Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12 have a frame synchronizer, with which you can synchronize signals easily even when they are asynchronous. As affordable as they are, Blackmagic products provide an amazingly wide range of features. There is no doubt that they were absolutely essential for the studio upgrade,” he concluded.


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