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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Aug 30

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8/30/2007 12:05 PM  RssIcon

New Features Geared Towards Simplified Installation, Reduced Power Consumption, and Streamlined Processing of Analog and Digital Inputs


BILLERICA, Mass. -- Aug. 30, 2007 -- Echolab Corporation, a leading provider of professional video production switchers and broadcast tools, today announced an array of new features and new pricing for its Opera series of dual-format production switchers. The latest Opera firmware features floating frame synchronizers for managing untimed feeds and internal frame stores for simplified installation and reduced power consumption.


Built on Echolab's award-winning System on Chip technology, the Opera switchers accept and deliver both digital and analog signals without the need for external analog-to-digital converters. Users can choose between analog or digital input modules to customize the Opera switcher for each production environment. Simultaneous dual-format output is standard on every Opera system.


The new floating frame synchronizer builds on the Opera series' dual-format architecture to synchronize untimed feeds from such sources as DVD players, satellite, remote studios, and microwave links. Because it is floating, the synchronizer can be used on any input, and it can be dynamically reassigned to any other input.


The Opera series' new frame stores are a valuable asset for any production environment and can even replace a dedicated clip/still store for certain applications. The Opera frame stores offer tremendous flexibility with an easy-to-use workflow and, because they are floating, can be assigned to any input. This flexibility allows the TD to configure the switcher to his or her workflow without having to change any wiring. The floating frame stores are loaded from the mainframe buffer and can be configured to load at startup. A still can be captured from any input and stored onto the floating frame store, or it can be transferred to the switcher using a Photoshop® plug-in or an easy-to-use utility that sends the graphic to the switcher via Ethernet.


Both the Opera frame synchronizer and the frame stores are internal to the switcher, reducing cabling and power consumption, saving valuable rack space, and allowing for fewer failure points.


"The Opera production switchers are an attractive alternative for those customers who want the same power and reliability of the big-name production switchers at a fraction of the cost," said Nigel Spratling, Echolab president. "A fully loaded Opera switcher is within reach for any budget, with rich functionality not usually found at this price point."


Echolab has made it easy and cost-effective to purchase the upgraded Opera series switchers by offering packages that include the new options at a reduced price. Additional upstream keyers, chroma keyers, downstream keyers, and DVEs may also be purchased for a nominal price. The new switchers will be available Sept. 1, 2007, from value-added dealers, system integrators, system builders, and small OEMs that focus on video switching, conversion, and interface products. Sales information is available at www.echolab.com.


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About Echolab

Echolab Corporation is a leading provider of video production switchers and tools that offer flexibility and on-air reliability for the production and distribution of digital media in a variety of formats. Built on Echolab's award-winning System on Chip technology, the dual-format Opera, SDI-format Nova, and new multi-definition Ovation MD lines of production switchers deliver the highest-quality output in analog and all digital formats, and are scalable for future expansion and operational enhancements. Echolab is online at www.echolab.com.

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