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BR Remote announces a record year from sales of remote PTZ cameras, engineering design and integration for special broadcast productions

BR Remote Ltd reveals record turnover in the last 12 months from sales of remote PTZ cameras combined with engineering design and systems integration. BR Remote is a manufacturer of remote controlled PTZ cameras, camera heads and controllers for professional broadcast and entertainment markets.

“Our customers want to work with directly with our engineering team,” explains the company’s Development Director David Bradley, “and as a specialist camera manufacturer, we are able to offer this. It is not easy to find the expertise to configure professional camera kit perfectly and make it interoperable with an existing infrastructure, but we are doing just that – we can customise our standard remote camera equipment down to PCB level and our customers can work directly with our technical team to ensure a smooth, successful integration.”

During the last 12 months, BR Remote has introduced its CamBall4 camera for remote production, also a pared-down CamBall Lite camera, and a new range of connectivity devices for IP, SMPTE and other network protocols. The AC180, new multi-purpose camera for outdoor productions on water will be introduced at IBC.

The company’s projects include the design, build and integration of a special water-submersible, fully aerodynamic stabilised remote camera for yacht racing. It has many applications in wildlife filming, news and live sports broadcast.

See BR Remote at IBC in Hall 12, stand 12.F63.

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BR Remote reveals the CB180 – a new multi-function remote PTZ camera for productions outdoors and on water

BR Remote Ltd, manufacturer of remote controlled PTZ cameras, camera heads and controllers, is to show a new multi-function, outdoor remote controlled camera at IBC, named the CB180.

The CB180 has been designed to capture live pictures from difficult locations out of doors, including those that are moving. It can be used on a boat or telescopic pole, while a production team can direct the camera from a remote studio or edit suite.

The camera is built from rugged carbon fibre with slip rings to ensure that it is weatherproof. This model is rated to both IP66 and IP67. IP66 indicates protection from heavy splashing and jets of water, while IP67 indicates that the camera is also protected against immersion in water. This means that the camera needs no extra protection in wet environments.

The CB180 contains all of the features in BR Remote’s CamBall4 camera in an aerodynamic design. In particular, it has Wide Dynamic Range, positional metadata, smart profile moves, DMX control, and advanced CCU control. A crew can therefore adjust the camera remotely and match its feed to AR, VR and graphics in a professional production.

For this outdoor model, BR Remote has added a wash and wipe feature to clean the lens, and stabilisation to steady the camera when it is used in motion.

The CB180 is the latest development in BR Remote’s range of PTZ cameras, robotic camera heads and controllers. These are used in professional broadcast and entertainment, and especially in wild life filming, sports, reality TV and news.  See BR Remote at IBC in Hall 12, stand 12.F63.

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To hire or to buy? The decision is different for specialist cameras

Would you hire or buy a camera for a six week shoot?  David Bradley explains why your decision may be different for specialist cameras

The market for broadcast cameras can be complex and incestuous as cameras are sold to end-customers and to the rental market.  At BR Remote, we manufacture cameras for a specialist niche, and our customers also have the choice of hiring or buying their cameras, but the decision to hire or buy is not the same as it is with more ordinary, standard broadcast cameras.

Generally the rent or buy decision will hinge around how long you will need the camera and some simple maths. With a classic shoulder-carried broadcast camera such as a Sony…… or a Panasonic……. there is well-known rule of thumb – the camera is generally available to hire at around 1% of its capital cost per day, with 5days hire for 4days cost and 7 for 5 etc. Considering too, that camera technology changes very fast and that these cameras are updated every year, often the most sensible business decision is to hire cameras on a project by project basis.

However the decision can be very different for specialist cameras. We operate in the niche market of miniature, remote-controlled CamBall cameras and programmable, intelligent camera heads. Our customers still have the same two choices – to rent or buy, but certain aspects of specialist cameras mean that the customer’s decision may be different.

The first difference is that specialist cameras don’t become obsolete as fast as ordinary cameras – upgrades are introduced more gently.  Also, in the case of our own cameras at BR Remote, we ensure that every camera we sell can be upgraded.  We do this for the benefit of our customers, a typical upgrade costs perhaps a third of the price of a replacement camera, so it is in their interests, but now that sustainability has come to matter so much, we are proud to be selling cameras that will last longer and give more service.

However, in business decisions, it is numbers that matter, and the key difference between specialist cameras and the others is the daily rental rate. For speciality cameras, the daily rate tends to be a much higher percentage of the purchase price – it will be 3% – 5% of the original cost of the equipment. This changes the picture completely, and makes the answer to the buy-or-hire question very different.

David says: “If you need a specialist camera for a six week shoot, and you are paying a daily hire rate of say between 3% and 5%, that’s around 20% of the value of the camera each week.”.  So if you rent the camera for six weeks, you would have been better off buying it. In fact, for any project that lasts for more than a month, it is probably worth buying the camera. Then your costs won’t increase if your dates are flexible or shoot is delayed.  On the other hand, one of the advantages of hiring is that hire companies generally supply a whole bunch of cables, accessories and flight cases.  If you purchase the cameras you would need to source these yourself, but at the end you own the camera, and all its accessories and cables.

Of course, many people need cameras for shorter periods and they will hire them, which means that hire companies are very important to us – they look after numerous customers, and provide a great package of advice, equipment and support. For this reason, at BR Remote, we took the decision that we would never rent our cameras directly, we are committed to supporting the hire companies who do offer this service.

As with other broadcast cameras, our equipment is taken from one shoot to the next.  We sell cameras to end customers and hire companies for their rental fleets, and in many cases our equipment is permanently installed in studios or stadiums, even on top of tall buildings for live panoramic view inserts 24/7.

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