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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jun 19

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6/19/2009 3:36 AM  RssIcon

multilogo.jpg Crystal Vision’s new MultiLogo logo keyer is the most feature-packed, space-saving and easy-to-use modular solution to HD or SD station branding. Available in four versions and with up to 12 logo keyers fitting in just 2RU of rack space, the MultiLogo V131, MultiLogo V131 8G, MultiLogo V431 and MultiLogo V431 8G each provide three layers of keying from a variety of internal and external sources. The choice of four allows the broadcaster to select the perfect logo keyer for his application – depending on whether he needs to store five or 500 logos and whether he wants to use live or pre-prepared sources.

The size of available storage is one of the areas in which MultiLogo excels. Customers can choose from either a 4 GB video store with MultiLogo for up to 250 logos or an 8 GB video store with MultiLogo 8G for 500 logos. The 8 GB version is particularly suitable for those using animated graphics, and makes it possible for one logo keyer to potentially store all of the logos for a playout area and therefore be easier to maintain. The eight-port non-volatile video store can read six images and write two images all at the same time which allows independent graphics for the three internal keyers.

MultiLogo also benefits from Crystal Vision’s keying expertize, already seen on the Safire chroma keyers and LKEY linear keyers which are used by broadcasters around the world. MultiLogo’s three layer keying allows three still or animated graphics to be independently brought up either from the internal video store or from up to four external sources. MultiLogo can be used either with graphics that have a separate key signal or with self-keyed graphics. Both additive and multiplicative keying is available, while the three keyers each have separate gain, lift and opacity controls. Look-ahead preview makes sophisticated transitions easy.

Explains Crystal Vision’s Managing Director, Philip Scofield: “Now available in four versions, MultiLogo continues to be a product with a real technical advantage. It is the most sophisticated modular logo keyer available by far, with the alternatives either 1RU or 2RU boxes with less keying functions, or a single board with both less keying functions and less storage.”

MultiLogo and MultiLogo 8G are available as either the single slot V131 which provides just one external input source, or as the ‘double decker’ V431 which gives four external input sources making it ideal for those wishing to use live as well as pre-prepared graphics. On the V431 the first external video input is normally dedicated to the main programme because of its relay bypass protection while the other three external feeds are completely flexible and configurable, and could typically be a back-up feed, a character generator for an emergency message and a key signal for that character generator. It is also possible to grab a logo from a live video feed.

The ability to lock the output to an SD or HD analog reference is another feature which sets MultiLogo apart from other logo keyers. It allows the board to be used as a test pattern generator or a free-standing video source and means that MultiLogo always gives a correctly-timed, uninterrupted output – thereby avoiding any transmission problems.

MultiLogo runs the uCLinux operating system for sophisticated file handling and stability and offers excellent connectivity with a PC, with extensive information able to be transported quickly. Crystal Vision’s instinctive-to-use drag-and-drop software runs on the graphics computer and will convert images of all common file formats (including JPG, BMP, TGA, SGI and PNG) to the format required by the logo keyer, before transferring them over 100MBit Ethernet directly from the PC into the board.

MultiLogo includes audio functionality, with audio data transferred to and from the board via Ethernet as WAV files using the PC drag-and-drop software. MultiLogo can embed a single audio group into its video outputs, with audio routing of the stereo pairs allowing selection of which of the possible sources are embedded. The audio can be played out separately, or alternatively the audio and video ports can be locked together so that the files can be played out at the same time – allowing the logo to have accompanying audio.

Controlling MultiLogo is easy. Industry standard software protocols on the board help it to be used with automation systems, with a dedicated RJ45 connector on the RM52 frame rear module facilitating RS422 control by Sony or VDCP protocol. A 4 x 10.5 inches module, MultiLogo fits in Crystal Vision’s standard frames – available in four sizes from 4RU to desk top box – allowing it to be easily integrated with any of the company’s interface and keying products.

Now shipping, MultiLogo is part of the Picturestore product range – Crystal Vision’s area of speciality based on solid-state fast reading and writing DRAM and permanent Flash picture storage. The other products in the Picturestore range are the Clip N Key clip and sting store, Playback instant replay device and ViViD HD-20 long variable video delay.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers, picture storage modules and a full range of digital and analog interface equipment including converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.

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