URSA Broadcast Camera System

  • 2018

  • Engineering

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Blackmagic Design

Designed In:


The URSA Broadcast Camera System is the world’s most affordable professional broadcast camera chain. Engineered for the rigours of large-scale live productions like sporting events and concerts, it costs just a tenth of traditional setups, offering broadcast image quality, long-distance communication, power and remote camera control up to 2km away.

The URSA Broadcast Camera System is the world’s most affordable, professional live production camera. Costing just one tenth of existing systems, it is effectively two cameras in one, pairing portability and tactile control with industry standard B4 video lens mount and bespoke SMPTE fiber optic adapter.

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  • ‘To create an affordable broadcast camera system that excels in unpredictable environments, balancing the needs of large-scale, multi-camera live productions with those of mobile ‘in-the-field’ applications.’ Engineer a versatile modular architecture that enables users to leverage existing camera equipment. Develop a durable design that safely manages the high voltage power required for long-distance applications. Consider live broadcast workflows to enhance productivity with innovative functionality. Balance lightweight proportions with durability to cope with the rigors of on-location filming. Realise an integrated visual language aligned with URSA Mini’s fail-safe, high performance DNA.

  • URSA Broadcast offers professional image quality, communication, power and remote control of cameras 2km away via a hybrid SMPTE fiber connection. Utilising B4 lenses possessing an extremely wide depth of field, images remain focussed even while zooming, ensuring fast, instinctive responses to changing situations. Exploiting proprietary colour science, its images do not require colour grading, allowing breaking stories to be shot, edited and aired faster than ever. Excelling in harsh conditions, the military-grade CNC machined optic fiber converter is incredibly durable. Designed to withstand significant torsional stress from heavy SMPTE cables, the housing extends to protect critical controls and connectors.

  • For the first time, independent broadcasters can afford a complete professional broadcast camera chain for a tenth of the cost of typical systems. Laden with innovative safety features and a bullet-proof mechanical design, the URSA Broadcast Camera System has a range of impacts for an industry dominated by large studios with a monopoly on high-end equipment. These include: * Empowering creative individuals and independent studios to realise professional outcomes. * Offering affordable, fail-safe production of broadcast-quality live content. * Fostering more diverse, creative approaches and emerging applications. * Enabling faster lead-times, providing a competitive advantage to smaller enterprises.

  • URSA Broadcast is an innovative synthesis of ID, software, electronics and mechanical engineering. **Industrial Design & Engineering** The modular system integrates with Blackmagic URSA cameras, eliminating investment in dedicated camera systems, enhancing affordability exponentially. Diffused lighting across the back-lit rear control surface is achieved through an optically engineered ‘Illumination chassis’. Durable CNC assemblies perform in extreme conditions. Bespoke mechanisms dampen movement of the sensitive fibre optic connection, easily handling the rigours of camera movement. **Optics & Image Quality** B4 lens control allows focus, iris and zoom adjustments using camera controls, or remotely from an ATEM switcher or ATEM Camera Control Panel. Replacing interchangeable B4 lens mount with EF, F or PL options allows a vast range of lenses, from inexpensive DSLR lenses to high-end cinema optics. 4K image sensor captures fine detail, accurate skin tones, vibrant colour and high dynamic range. Sub-pixel image processing and anti-aliasing delivers ultra-sharp images. **Software & Electronics** Built-in safety mechanisms accurately monitor and automatically manage voltages carried, ensuring safe operation. ‘Handshake’ protocols between camera and converters detect adequate links, automatically performing safety checks before powering up. Dedicated micro-controllers ensure stable optical signals and safe supply of power, instantly shutting down when leaks or damage are detected.