Broadcaster ORF selects Crystal Vision interface for HD upgrade of Studio RP6

Austria’s national public service broadcaster ORF has selected 120 Crystal Vision interface boards including up and down converters, synchronizers, embedders and distribution amplifiers for the HD upgrade of Studio RP6 in Vienna. RP6 is the second ORF studio to upgrade to HD in 2010 using Crystal Vision interface, following the purchase of 107 boards for Studio RP3 earlier in the year.

ORF broadcasts six TV channels – ORF1, ORF2, ORF2 Europe, TW1, ORF Sport Plus and 3sat (together with ZDF, ARD and SRG) – with the programmes made within Studio RP6 generally big productions which are transmitted on ORF1 and ORF2.

With its first HD transmission on 21st September, RP6 is the second ORF studio to be upgraded from SD to HD and all programmes made in the studio will now be shot in HD. The order was co-ordinated by Crystal Vision’s Austrian distributor, Vienna-based systems integrator Gelantec. ORF has been buying products from Crystal Vision for ten years and was Crystal Vision’s biggest overseas customer in both 2008 and 2009.

Studio RP6 will be using a total of 83 Crystal Vision up and down converters. These include 59 Q-Down123 down converters, known for its high quality output, short processing delay and flexible outputs which are individually link selectable between analog (composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB) and digital. The monitors in RP6 are still SD and therefore all the HD signals need to be down converted to SD with the minimum possible delay, making Q-Down123’s short processing delay of 16 lines ideal.

The Q-Down-A 3G version is also being used to down convert embedded audio sources in RP6, with its ability to handle four groups of embedded audio. ORF is a big user of Q-Down123 and used an additional 64 of them in its RP3 studio.

ORF is using 12 of the Up-Down-A 3G up/down/cross converters for up converting Standard Definition embedded sources to HD while simultaneously creating an SD output of the feed which is co-timed to the HD output by adding a matching delay. Featuring both motion adaptive video de-interlacing and Crystal Vision’s proprietary down conversion, Up-Down-A 3G can convert 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources, handles up to four groups of embedded audio and can perform two different conversions at the same time – providing co-timed dual outputs which can be configured as either 3G/HD or SD and which remain unchanged in format, even if the input changes.

ORF is additionally using another Crystal Vision up/down/cross converter – the Up-and-down-S with its on-board synchronizer – to up convert and time SD sources before feeding them into the HD mixer.

Signal timing in RP6 is also being done by three of the multi-functional SYNNER-E 3G synchronizers, which combine a video synchronizer, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder and audio processor with optional fiber I/O, and allow the embedding or de-embedding of up to eight AES in any combination as well as special Dolby E processing. The SYNNER-E 3G are being used to synchronize and de-embed SD and HD streams and to embed and time sources containing Dolby E for feeding back into the mixer.

For timing the studio lines ORF is also using 20 SYN HD synchronizers.

A TANDEM 3G is being used as an HD de-embedder for two audio groups. TANDEM 3G is a single board solution providing a combined embedder and de-embedder for up to four groups of audio, and includes full shuffling and overwriting of the mono channels and optional integrated fiber input/output connectivity.

Finally HD and SD sources are being distributed using 13 3GDA105C distribution amplifiers, which work with 3Gb/s, HD and SD and provide five reclocked outputs.

The 120 boards are located in the RP6 apparatus room inside six Indigo 4SE 4RU frames. Board control comes from Statesman Lite – the free version of Crystal Vision’s PC control software.

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.