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Power Plus, a subsidiary of Digital Precision Systems (DPS), offers high-precision camera positioning for virtual-reality (VR) technology in the broadcasting industry, with the help of Renishaw’s optical and magnetic encoders to ensure accuracy and repeatability.

VR technology relies heavily on camera positional data for perfect synchronisation between virtual and physical elements in real-time broadcasting — which is why camera support equipment manufactured by Power Plus depends on the accuracy and repeatability provided by encoders.

On 16 June 2012, DPS collaborated with virtual graphic system providers VIZRT and ORAD for a CCTV full virtual live broadcast of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft launch at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China, supplying Power Plus’s own virtual jib systems and supports.

According to Charles Wong, director of Power Plus, the use of a pan-tilt head enables stable and precise movement of the camera in the live broadcast, while the graphic enhancement production system acquires camera positional data via the Renishaw encoded pan-tilt head and Vinten’s VR interface box.

The virtual studio system then renders and generates virtual live feeds by compiling and editing the real-time streaming video data and the virtual tracking data (camera position), followed by tuning and distribution prior to broadcast.

Key benefits of product application

  • Seamless integration of VR calls for repeatable camera positioning. Power Plus’s high-precision pan-tilt head and jib employ Renishaw’s RESR incremental rotary (angle) encoder system on both the pan and tilt axes, with the RGH40 series non-contact optical readhead offering repeatability to 0.004 arc-seconds.
  • Available with a wide diameter range and compatible with a series of readheads, the RESR incremental rotary encoder is designed with low mass and low inertia to ensure good dynamic performance. Backlash and other mechanical effects, created by coupling or bearings, are eliminated by the direct mount mechanism.
  • Wong said: ‘Compared with the use of traditional enclosed encoders, the non-contact encoder has excellent repeatability and with zero backlash, which is critical for VR performance. We are very satisfied with Renishaw’s encoders, which are built for precision.’
  • According to Wong, Power Plus compared encoders from different suppliers but found Renishaw’s to be the most stable and repeatable.
  • The encoders are said to be simple and fast to install. Every readhead features wide installation tolerances and an integral setup LED, ensuring easy installation and removing the need for complex setup equipment.
  • Renishaw’s RESR encoder ring features a patented taper mount that corrects for rotor eccentricity. This simplifies the integration and minimises installation error.

Renishaw

A world leader in engineering technologies, Renishaw’s core skills in measurement and precision machining serve sectors as diverse as dimensional metrology, spectroscopy, machine calibration, motion control, dentistry and surgical robotics.

A world leader in engineering technologies, Renishaw’s core skills in measurement and precision machining serve sectors as diverse as dimensional metrology, spectroscopy, machine calibration, motion control, dentistry and surgical robotics.

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