"Coronation Street" uses Crystal Vision interface to go HD

Crystal Vision has been chosen as the exclusive interface supplier for the HD upgrade of “Coronation Street”.

Made by ITV Studios, “Coronation Street” is the longest running British soap opera – celebrating its 50th Birthday this December – and is set in the fictional town of Weatherfield, a suburb of the city of Manchester.

The 39 interface products were purchased and installed by UK systems integrator AVC, who recommended the use of Crystal Vision. The project was to upgrade two studios from SD to HD and to build two new two-camera Outside Broadcast vans (to replace the existing SD OB vehicles) in just 10 weeks – while having zero impact on the production schedule. The studio upgrades were carried out in the existing apparatus areas and control rooms which made the project extremely challenging, so equipment delivery was critical.

Jim Crothers, CEO at AVC, commented: “As always Crystal Vision met this very challenging project with their usual flexible approach, and the reliability of their kit meant that we could complete the project with confidence.”

18 of the Q-Down short-delay broadcast down converters are being used in the studios and OB vans to provide both source distribution and PAL monitoring from a single board. The Q-Down183 version, with its eight input loop-throughs, was selected for use in the studios because additional HD outputs were required there. A useful feature for this project was Q-Down’s ability to swap between SDI and PAL outputs for monitoring: Q-Down provides three Standard Definition outputs which are individually link selectable between analog (composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB) and digital.

12 TANDEM HD-21 are being used to embed and de-embed audio for the servers. TANDEM HD-21 can be configured in many different ways, allowing it to be used as an embedder or de-embedder for one or two groups of AES or analog audio, or even to embed one audio group and de-embed the other.

Various distribution amplifiers are also in use. A 3GDA105N, which can distribute 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources and gives five non-reclocked outputs, is providing the HD distribution in the studio. Four VDA110M HD analog video distribution amplifiers are being used to distribute the Black and Burst analog reference. Finally, analog audio and timecode distribution in the OB vans is being done using four AADA416FM quad channel analog audio distribution amplifiers, with the inputs and outputs able to be configured in five different ways.

The products are all housed together in three Indigo 2 2RU frames, which hold up to 12 boards in each. ITV Studios is also using its existing Crystal Vision kit, which was previously running in SD and has now been switched over to HD operation.

“Coronation Street” began broadcasting in High Definition on 31st May on ITV1 HD.

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