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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Feb 15

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2/15/2008 10:31 AM  RssIcon

As well as the latest technology in chroma keying and signal processing, Booth N610 at NAB2008 will see the launch of Crystal Vision‘s new area of speciality - the Picturestore range of products based on solid state picture storage combined with optional keying and Flash permanent storage. Four products are initially available, which are 100mm x 266mm modules that fit in the company‘s standard frames, include relay bypass protection and work with both HD and SD.


The first of these is Multilogo, the most sophisticated modular logo keyer available. This space-saving board provides generous storage for three layers of keying from four keyer sources with look-ahead preview for sophisticated transitions. Three layer keying allows three stored still or moving graphics to be independently brought up from a multi-port non-volatile solid state store that can read and write multiple images at once. These three graphics can come from four keyer sources: three of them are stored logos - either programmed from a PC or by ‘grabbing‘ an input and storing it - while the fourth keyer source is external and is made up from a combination of the fill and external key. Crystal Vision‘s special drag and drop software will auto-convert images of most common file formats to the format required by the logo keyer before transferring them over 100MBit Ethernet directly from the graphics PC into the board, allowing extensive information to be transported quickly. Audio features allow the adding of a stereo pair of AES audio. Industry standard software protocols on the board help it to be used with automation systems. Multilogo will be mainly used as a logo keyer by broadcasters for branding their HD or SD stations, while for people who just need one station ident Multilogo can be used as a dual channel device - sharing the three keyers between two channels. With the only alternative options being either 1U or 2U boxes with less keying functions, or a single board with less keying functions and less storage, Crystal Vision has a real technical advantage with Multilogo.


A low-cost clip and sting store, Clip N Key is the most convenient way to add extra video sources to a mixer to enhance transitions - particularly in sports programming. Used by a live operator in conjunction with a video mixer, it allows a special clip or sting with optional associated key signal and audio to be played repeatedly - for example, the same moving image each time a team scores a goal. Clip N Key can store 25 seconds of moving HD video (15 seconds if it includes a key signal) or six times that length in SD. A number of different clips can be stored, dependant on the total length of time used. This specialised and affordable product is ideal for people who require short clips or stings for which it is not worth tying up a server port.


With Playback replay technology becomes affordable for the first time. This unique product has been designed for sports applications and can replay 25 seconds of HD video (or 150 seconds of SD) at a significantly lower price than the hard drive alternatives - meaning that the broadcaster can afford to put one on every camera and so play back a sporting shot from every angle. Normally used with a video mixer, Playback will constantly record until something of interest happens at which point the operator will press stop. The last 25 seconds of recorded HD video is then available for replay - with the operator able to select to go to a particular point, slow it down, pause, or go backwards and forwards.


ViViD HD + is Crystal Vision‘s new video delay line and is ideal for engineers who need to match extra long delays in their system. Typically used for profanity delays, it is also ideal for MPEG encoders and decoders, MPEG-compressed HD radio links and virtual set graphics that require more than the standard half a second of HD delay. ViViD HD + provides up to 20 seconds of delay in HD and 110 seconds in Standard Definition. The output timing is based on the video input and is adjustable in frames, lines and pixels.


The Picturestore products will also be available on the booth of Crystal Vision‘s US partner Echolab, with the video mixer manufacturer showing them working with its new OvationMD HD/SD video processing hub on Booth SU9607.


There will be the usual live bluescreen set on the Crystal Vision booth and this will showcase the company‘s latest chroma keyer, Safire SD 2 - aimed at those working in SD who wish to future proof their chroma keying. A Standard Definition chroma keyer, Safire SD 2 offers a very quick and easy upgrade path to HD at the point when it is needed, without the inconvenience of having to change the hardware or rewire the system. Safire SD 2 uses the same hardware platform as Crystal Vision‘s Safire HD 2 High Definition chroma keyer but its operation is restricted to SD - until the customer chooses to upgrade to full HD operation, simply by swapping the module‘s daughter board for a new one provided by Crystal Vision. Priced between the Standard Definition only Safire and the High Definition Safire HD 2, Safire SD 2 is the natural choice for those looking for a smaller initial financial outlay.


There will also be new interface products making their debut in Las Vegas, with Crystal Vision bringing its affordable space-saving technology to High Definition colour correction and legalisation for the first time. CoCo HD includes an excellent range of colour correction adjustments for those who need to change the whole picture, including independent gain and offset, as well as individual red, blue and green gamma controls which are rarely seen at this price level. The legalisation - which changes YUV colours illegal in RGB to be valid in RGB - reaches a new level of sophistication with advanced correction for gamut errors, in which the colour is legalised by desaturating it without changing its hue. An auxiliary output can be connected to a monitor to allow the user to preview and perfect any adjustments, with pixels containing illegal signal values highlighted in bright pink making it easier for the user to locate the problem. The board can be operated either using the Statesman PC software or - for live operation - from the new 1U control panel, the CoCo HD Controller, which has dedicated shaft encoders for the most commonly used adjustments.


SYNNER-E HD is another unique interface product from Crystal Vision and is ideal for broadcast engineers with applications involving untimed HD or SD video and associated audio in Dolby E environments. Not only does SYNNER-E HD combine the traditional functionality of five different products (video synchroniser, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder and audio processor) on one board which simplifies system designs and saves money and rack space, it also has special features for Dolby E. By fitting the standard Crystal Vision piggybacks to the motherboard SYNNER-E HD can include an audio embedder or de-embedder for analogue, digital or Dolby E audio. Up to two channels of Dolby E can come into SYNNER-E HD - either embedded on the video input or as external audio via a piggyback where it gets its timing either from the external reference or the input video. If the external Dolby E is locked to the reference it is assumed to be correctly timed and therefore in this case it is possible to have standard AES on the other channel - making it ideal for mixed Dolby E and AES environments. If the Dolby E is locked to the input it will be delayed and timed so that the Dolby E data is correctly aligned with the video frame to ensure the guardband is in exactly the correct place - the first Crystal Vision product to do this and meeting the strict requirements now recommended by Dolby to allow many more stages of processing. This is true even if the engineer has two Dolby E sources with different timings as they can be re-aligned up to 10ms. There is no other synchroniser available that can both re-align this guardband and embed external audio.


Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers and a full range of digital and analogue interface equipment including converters, decoders, encoders, aspect ratio converters and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.

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