Whether you're a terrestrial or satellite broadcaster, a camera manufacturer or an OB truck operator, test and measurement technology is a behind-the-scenes necessity. Tektronix
just made life easier for those markets with the debut of its new WFM2200 waveform monitor
. The WFM2200 is the latest addition to the company's existing line of waveform monitors and rasterizers. Shipping now, the WFM2200 has a suggested retail price of $4,900.
Tektronix Video Marketing Manager Richard Duvall
Tektronix Video Marketing Manager Richard Duvall notes that, "there is always a need for competent measurement in a more portable package." "There's a sub-set of the technology pool that need measurement tools that are easy to access, understand and use," he says. "We saw an increasing need for that." Also pertinent is the fact that both terrestrial and satellite broadcasters and those in the video content production market need to diagnose multi-format video as well as multi-channel/multi-format audio and ANC Data.
The WFM2200 fulfills that need, in a handheld, 3.3-pound form factor. "This form factor is interesting to people," says Duvall. "People are excited about the size and what they could do with it because of price performance as well as functionality."
Incorporating the performance of Tektronix' more advanced waveform monitors, the WFM2200 includes a 6.5-inch high resolution liquid crystal display (LCD), a replaceable battery and an input for testing "house black." The LCD display ensures that users will be looking at an image that is high-resolution and clear enough not to miss important information in the waveform representation. The replaceable battery means that the user can charge one battery while another is in use, ensuring continuous operation. The input for testing facility synchronization signal (or "house black") includes a Timing display that simplifies setup and verification and offers the ability to view the analog reference signal.
The WFM2200 is also customizable via software, allowing users to add any additional capabilities required. Two additional options include an upgrade for 3-gigabit network connections and another for ancillary data.
Tektronix Waveform WFM2200.|
Click on image to expand to larger view
According to Duvall, the original intended market for the WFM2200 was satellite and terrestrial broadcasters. "It's no secret that their budgets aren't what they used to be to buy test equipment," he says. "The WFM2200 more easily fits into a budget in today's market. We are getting a reaction around its attractive price."
Unanticipated interest in the WFM2200 has also come from the OB truck people. "They do want a more portable waveform monitor," he says. "We're getting a lot of interest from truck people, not just for more advanced monitors for inside the truck but for using the WFM2200 for outside the truck."
Tektronix has also outreached to Canon, Sony, Panasonic and other camera manufacturers, with the idea that the WFM2200 is ideal for camera set-ups. "When you need to get the white balance set and make sure cameras match, the WFM2200 comes in handy," says Duvall. "It makes it easy to do camera set-up and also has a camera mount, which makes it even more suitable. It's ideal for when camera manufacturers do demonstrations of their cameras, especially at exhibitions. This will help them show off their product."
Tektronix will be demonstrating the WFM2200 at their booth at NAB. The company will also demonstrate the use of waveform monitors with color correction.
It's heartening to see waveform monitor gear that meets the needs of not only broadcasters but other segments of the marketplace - including some users who may not even think they need this kind of signal evaluation. For those users bereft of hard-core engineering help, an easy to use waveform monitor may be the only way to go.