Master Control Switchers

October 3, 2004
Leitch’s flagship digital master control switcher is the Opus. It utilizes full 10-bit video quality in all video paths, including options, and selectable 20- or 24-bit audio for the four AES pairs-provided standards.

Optimized for demanding environments, it performs well in live, on-air applications from small to large master control suites, managing one to multiple channels from a single control panel manually or under full automation. Opus provides dual-channel effects/squeezes, a variety of audio processing capabilities, keys, audio overs, quick selects, and features such as automatic key removal when switching to a commercial source. It can work as either an SDI or HD master control system.
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NVISION’s NV5128-MC is a multichannel master control switcher targeted at TV stations migrating from single-channel analog to multichannel digital transmission. An integral hardware control panel provides full operational control of multiple master control channels.

The NV5128-MC is based on the technology of the NV5128 multiformat router. The HDTV version supports both 1080i and 720p operation. Like the SD system, standard features include built-in squeeze back and logo generation, three general-purpose video keyers, and an eight-channel audio path. Since all operational features are identical between the SD and HD versions, operators in a mixed-format environment can easily move between the two systems.

The systems control panel provides control of one or more channels of master control, including source selection, transition control and audio monitoring. LCD pushbuttons can be relabeled electronically for preset/program source selection, while a built-in color LCD touch screen provides access to secondary system functions.
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At IBC2004, Pro-Bel introduced its latest master control series, Masterpiece. It benefits from a range of new features while making use of key resources from the TX Range. As part of Masterpiece, Pro-Bel has developed a new, high definition mixer that can either be specified from new or purchased as an upgrade for the TX520. The HD mixer can be used to upgrade existing SD video mixers and features two keyers, with the ability to place a DVE into the signal chain before or after either keyer.

Masterpiece also features a completely new panel, set up with a versatile touch screen operating under a Windows environment. This allows configuration from the physical control panel as well as any PC linked to the system. Using Ethernet connectivity, an almost limitless number of mixer control cards and panels can be linked together to provide a comprehensive, facility-wide master control solution.
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Quartz offers a wide range of master control systems, built up from several models of video processing hardware, upstream routers (Quartz or third party) and control panels. The range includes SD, HD, and hybrid systems and supports audio options from analog to two Dolby E streams with 16-channel internal processing. Multiple key levels and optional internal DVEs and logo stores may be added. Systems scale from one to over 60 channels with more than 250 channels on the air. Recent system options include the ability to have a fully redundant system utilizing an N+1 channel architecture and dual redundant upstream routers and the ability to transparently mix SD and HD sources in the same system using a single upstream router. Video processing is carried out in 2U QMC frames, each of which can handle two independent channels, or by plug-in Signal Processing Technology modules inside a Quartz Xenon router.
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The latest addition to the Thomson master control portfolio is the next-generation Grass Valley Maestro SD/HD branding engine and master control system. The Maestro system lets users combine embedded branding and full-featured master control with traditional signal processing—all in the same frame. Along with the Grass Valley Profile 6G sever, the Maestro system is part of the Play to Air package of the Grass Valley TV Station in a Kit Series.

Grass Valley master control solutions can scale from standalone single-channel systems with internal routing matrices to multichannel, highly networked systems that leverage the crosspoints of facility routers. They feature extensive keying capabilities, integration with Grass Valley routing matrices and Profile servers, easy expansion, and the reliability necessary for uninterrupted operation.
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Utah Scientific
Utah Scientific offers the MC-2020 digital master control switcher. With a 19-inch wide x 14-inch high control panel, it features multichannel, multi-format capability and multiple key/mix levels and is available in SD and HD versions. All versions offer embedded audio processing and an option for separate audio as well. When used in conjunction with the UTAH-400 routing switcher’s analog I/O options, the MC-2020 can be used to control analog channels--an ideal solution for the current requirements for multi-format simulcasting.

The operational flexibility of the MC-2020 can be extended by adding SqueezeMAX, a dual-channel video effects and graphics system designed specifically for the requirements of live on-air master control operation. It offers a complete solution for on-air squeezeback effects, logo insertion, and other channel branding operations.
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