Smart-telecaster ZAO


Ideal for news gathering and remote sports production, the Smart-telecaster Zao was the world’s first mobile H.265 HEVC hardware encoder and enables full HD (1080i) live video mobile transmission of live events from a remote location to anywhere in the world, with a simple unit attached to the camera. Easy to use, high quality, highly reliable, low latency.
Versatile for all your Outside Broadcast Needs

Used by live sports production teams, news gathering and other TV productions for live events to live stream full HD in broadcast quality, reliably over multiple 3G/4G networks, Wi-Fi or Satellite back to an MCR/Broadcast Centre direct from the camera.

Latest Compression with H.265

H.265 HEVC for high quality video, high reliability and low latency – reliable even at low signal strengths or in congested areas. Can operate as low as 300KB/sec.

Miniature encoder

The Zao weighs only 800 grams and comes complete with backpack, cables and VMount plates to use external camera batteries. Can support up to 2 external batteries (14.8-18V).

Low latency

Latency typically 700ms to 1 second back to a broadcast centre, and can go as low as 240ms.

Software Encoding Options

Receiving end (decoding platform) can be securely on-premise or cloud based – with optional encryption all the way. Options includes HD View (onsite for HD-SDI) and cloud solutions including Cloud Video Switcher (CVS), and Cloud View that can provide RTMP, RTSP or NDI IP Streams.

What the zao does for Mobile Broadcasting

Challenges live mobile video streaming
High quality H.265 live mobile video streaming can be challenging in remote locations including news-gathering situations or other live events such as a sports event over a wide area, where a camera may need to live stream from a car, motorcycle, drone or helicopter. The fluctuating availability of the 3G or 4G cellular network makes it hard with traditional systems to maintain the HD quality of live streaming content from broadcast cameras. Want to know how you could solve these challenges?

See what we do within broadcasting for:


Decoder, Remote management & two-way audio

Smart-telecaster ZAO maintains HD quality in low 3G or 4G bandwidth environments
Smart-telecaster ZAO, the world’s first mobile H.265 HEVC hardware encoder that can be attached to any broadcast camera, solves these issues. Thanks to the compression capabilities of H.265, coupled with our RASCOW technology, high quality mobile HD live streaming is possible even in low 3G or 4G bandwidth environments making this a first class product for encoding on the move and reliably streaming live content.

Smart-telecaster ZAO: Minimal latency whilst covering live events
When streaming live events, especially news, a one second delay is very noticeable – Zao can provide minimal latency typically half a second but as low as 240ms. Production companies, broadcasters and journalists are no longer getting frustrated with reliability, delay and image quality, and can save money without the need for satellite or RF services or an Outside Broadcast (OB) truck.

Smart-telecaster ZAO key specifications

Video Codec H.265 Main Profile
Video input resolution HD-SDI, HDMI, 1080i 59.94/50, 720p 59.94/50, 480i /59.94, 576i /50
Video formats HD-SDI, HDMI, PAL/NTSC
Audio Codec Vorbis
Audio Input Embedded Audio
Multilink Up to 7 lines; 6 x 3G, 4G,LTE, Wireless LAN, 1 Wired LAN
Supported Networks CDMA, 3G, 4G,LTE, Wi-Fi, Wired LAN, Inmarsat BEGAN
Authentication Passphrases (up to 32 characters)
Encryption AES 256 bit
Protocol UDP/IP (RASCOW)
Control Full monitoring and control using an OLED screen, smartphone application, web-based remote control
Preview Video preview, cellular status including throughput, network latency etc
Dimensions 123mm x 160mm x 46mm
Weight 900 grams
Key product features

Real time mobile HD video transmission direct from the camera  – Smart-telecaster ZAO is a portable video H265 HEVC encoder that compresses video in real-time enabling full HD live video streaming to anywhere in the world, while on the move.

Supports H.265 video compression standard – Smart-telecaster ZAO is equipped with the H.265 video compression standard. H.265 technology improves encoding and compression by approximately 50% compared to H.264 compression. As a result HD picture quality can be maintained even when the mobile phone signal strength becomes low and with very low latency (0.5 seconds).

RASCOW technology – Smart-telecaster ZAO connects up to 6 SIM cards via external dongles that can be bonded together to form a single connection via 3G, 4G or WiFi. RASCOW technology monitors the changing mobile signal strength in real time and adapts the most optimum bonded combination of the 3G, 4G and WiFi connections. As a result the quickest and most reliable delivery across the internet is given to the decoding platform. This continues to give reliable video contribution even when signal strengths becomes low or fluctuates rapidly.

Easy to carry – Smart-telecaster ZAO is a portable video encoder. The specially designed bag that comes with the product is easy to carry and operate.

Power saving – Smart-telecaster ZAO contains two batteries that last up to 3,5 hours each. The total battery capacity is 7 hours.

Advanced connectivity – Smart-telecaster ZAO supports a variety of mobile networks such as 3G, 4G, and WiFi. Ethernet and Inmarsat BGAN networks are also supported.

Multi-Link technology – With multi-link technology in Smart- telecaster ZAO you can use up to 6 mobile data cards simultaneously. This strongly improves the quality of broadcasting under weak signal conditions.

Receives multiple video streams – Our Smart-telecaster ZAO viewing software can receive up to 4 video streams from 4 different camera units at the same time.

Supports 1080i standard for full HD TV – Smart-telecaster ZAO supports the
HD-SDI/HDMI (1080i) video standard for full HD TV achieving unprecedented high quality digital video.

Secure communications – To guarantee secure communications Smart-telecaster supports
authentication and encryption(AES 256bit).

Live with your Smartphone – STC for ML CAM is now available in the App store
for mobile video transmission just using your iPhone.

Key features Smart-Telecaster ZAO

1. H.265 Encoding
H.265 HEVC encoding which is 50% more efficient than traditional H264. The benefits are mutiple in that the Zao will continue to operate in low bandwidth situations when the mobile phone signal is weak, as well as keeping latency lower that traditional systems.

2. Bonding Protocol
RASCOW is a protocol developed by Soliton Systems to ensure stable, high-quality image transmission over mobile access networks. It dynamically monitors signal strength on all connected modems, and adjusts in real time.

3. Compression rates automatically adapted to bit rate
To ensure smooth, lag-free transmission compression ratios and frame rates are dynamically adjusted according to the bit rate. A self-sustaining recovery is made at the time of network restoration.

4. Audio highest priority
High quality audio is essential. RASCOW technology allocates the highest priority to optimal audio quality and will keep audio going in almost zero bandwidth situations as long as possible where it is impossible to continue video.

 5. Audio Communication (IFB)
The Zao supports an audio jack for headphones to hear commands from HDView (the decoder). The Zao has embedded audio using the Vorbis codec. It supports voice frequencies up to 48kHz.

6. Stable Transmissions
ARQ QoS network optimization methods are used to keep the transmission stable, even under data loss conditions.

7. Lightweight and small
Due to its lightweight (900g) and portability, the Zao can be carried either on a small backpack or can be mounted on a camera and connect either via HD-SDI or HDMI to the camera.

8. Long battery Life
The power consumption of Zao is maximum 28Wh. Depending on the capacity of battery, a 100Wh battery for example, it can be broadcast live for approximately four hours. The Zao can support up to 2 standard external (VLock) batteries giving a total of 8 hours of continual use.

9. Up to 7 communication lines are supported
The Zao supports up to seven lines. Six USB ports and one wired LAN port.

10. Communication lines supported
The Zao supports 3G, 4G, LTE, WiMax, Inmarsat BGAN, WiFi, and wired LAN.

11. Variety of input video formats
1920×540 (29.97p)

Technology for optimized mobile communications

Click on the image to enlarge

Our technology for optimized mobile communication is called RASCOW (Real-time Auto-Speed Control based on Waterway model). RASCOW technology automatically balances the load between various network base stations during live broadcasting. This allows unprecedented stability in image transmission, even under network congestion or weak network signals.

ZAO Case Studies
The ZAO can be used in many ways, by just as many different customers. You can find some uses here, namely:

Smart-telecaster ZAO video

Contact us

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