Data transmission during camera shooting, recording, transmission of events or on film sets

Events in sports, entertainment, art and culture on a local, regional or national level as well as major worldwide events such as a Football World Cups, Olympic Games, political summits or concerts are nowadays accompanied by media coverage from many perspectives and in real time.

For live TV images or for recording, the production of films for entertainment or advertising, mobile camera and microphone systems with gimbal camera suspension systems, so-called gimbals, are often used: as cable-suspended camera system (known as Skycam or Spidercam™), on a camera crane, a dolly or with a remote-controlled drone.

Particular challenges here are interference-free, reliable transmission of video signals at high data rates - 4k images (HD-SDI signals) or up to 8k (Ultra HD, HDR) - to storage and transmission media, and in addition often data between sensors and motors and their monitoring and control equipment via rotating elements. Moreover, there are often very limited space conditions and harsh operating weather environments with rain and wet, heat or cold.

The very high data rates require the use of fibre-based transmission systems. For this reason, SPINNER has developed fiber optic rotary joints (FORJ) that specifically meet the requirements for signal and data transmission in camera shooting and recording events or on film sets.

A critical factor with conventional fiber-optic rotary joints is that the fibers run axially, i.e. they enter and leave along the rotational axis, which increases the space requirement. An ingenious optical system allows the fiber to exit at a 90° angle to the axis of rotation, which greatly reduces the required space. Carefully selected optical components, along with highly precise production, ensure reliable long-term operation. The main quality criterion for FORJs is insertion loss variation (WOW), or how much the system’s electrical performance varies as it rotates. It has been possible to reduce this factor to below 0.5 dB.