Multi-functionality on a single board with Crystal Vision’s latest synchronizer

SYNNER-E 3G simplifies system designs for those working with 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources in AES and Dolby E environments, saving broadcast engineers money and rack space. SYNNER-E 3G's multi-functionality combines a video synchronizer, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder, audio processor and video proc-amp, along with four group audio handling, advanced processing of Dolby E, integrated fiber connectivity and flexible delay compensation – all on one 4 x 10.5 inches board.

This powerful product can synchronize the 3Gb/s, HD or SD video, de-embed up to four audio groups, mono route the audio channels, pass the linear AES through a tracking audio delay to resample it before any audio processing while detecting, synchronizing and aligning any Dolby E, and finally re-embed the four groups – outputting video and embedded audio timed to the system. It can also embed and de-embed external AES and Dolby E.

SYNNER-E 3G can be used both as a video synchronizer – ideal for external sources that are not timed to station references – and as a delay line, for when the frame rate is correct but the source has been passed through other equipment and therefore been delayed for a few lines.

In synchronizer mode SYNNER-E 3G takes its timing from the external analog reference and will automatically synchronize sources between 0 and 1 frame, fixing any incorrect frame rates plus any delays. The ability to cross-lock allows it to conveniently use any existing timing signals with any source referenced to either HD tri-level syncs or SD Black and Burst, while the output timing can be adjusted relative to the reference through an entire frame using horizontal and vertical settings to compensate for mistimed sources elsewhere in the system.

SYNNER-E 3G allows the engineer real freedom when embedding and de-embedding external AES or Dolby E audio. There are eight bi-directional digital audio connections on the board which can each be independently configured as either an AES input or AES output, allowing the embedding or de-embedding of up to eight AES stereo pairs at the same time and in any combination. SYNNER-E 3G includes powerful audio routing, with the two 32 input/16 output audio routing matrices allowing full shuffling and overwriting of the mono channels.

There is very flexible handling of Dolby E, with Dolby E data automatically detected and processed appropriately. SYNNER-E 3G can embed or de-embed up to 16 channels of Dolby E and will synchronize video containing Dolby E, standard audio or both – allowing a mixture of Dolby E and standard AES within the same audio group by separating the Dolby E and standard audio and synchronizing both types in the appropriate way before re-embedding the audio. The video and linear audio can both be delayed to compensate for the one frame delay created by converting to and from Dolby E.

SYNNER-E 3G provides a very flexible range of video and audio delays to help match all the signals and ensure correct Dolby E alignment. One or two frames of delay can be added to the video to compensate for any Dolby E delays, while the Minimum synchronization delay allows a further 0.5 frames delay to be added to the video to ensure correct Dolby E alignment. The tracking audio delay will track the video delay, running the audio fast or slow to ensure the video and audio stay correctly timed – while up to 80ms of fixed audio delay on top of the tracking will compensate the linear AES for any small delay between the incoming video and audio signals caused by video processing. A delay of up to a frame can be added to a Dolby E signal so that the guardband is correctly aligned with the video timing ready for embedding into the output video, while Dolby E can also be deliberately offset from its correct position by up to 40 samples to compensate for processing further downstream.

SYNNER-E 3G offers powerful audio processing capabilities for the linear audio, including individual gain control (adjustable between +18dB and -18dB in 0.1dB steps), channel muting and inversion, and stereo to mono conversion which can be useful for those broadcasting a multi-language service. Also included is a video proc-amp for picture optimization and to help maintain color fidelity, with adjustment of the video gain, black level and independent YUV gains by up to 200%.

SYNNER-E 3G increases its multi-functionality further by including integrated fiber input or output connectivity. This provides fiber straight into the board and is ideal for engineers who need to send and receive signals beyond the local equipment bay. Designed for SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul applications, the FIP fiber input option is used to receive an optical input and the FOP fiber output option to transmit an optical output using a Class I laser. The FIO can do both – giving simultaneous fiber input and output. Having the fiber integral to the board reduces the need to use up additional rack space for separate fiber optic transmitters and receivers, as well as saving money.

Explained Crystal Vision’s Managing Director, Philip Scofield: “SYNNER-E 3G has been used in some of the largest projects in the world. Its combination of features has made the system design simple, reliable, physically small and low in energy consumption. It is one of the products that has contributed to the acceptance of Crystal Vision products as the perfect choice for large HD infrastructure projects.”

SYNNER-E 3G is a space-saving 4 x 10.5 inches module which is housed in Crystal Vision’s standard frames – available in 4RU, 2RU, 1RU and desk top box sizes – with up to 12 boards fitting in 2RU. There is a choice of seven different frame rear modules to access the inputs and outputs (the RM47, RM49, RM58, RM59, RM61, RM62 and RM70), chosen depending on whether the engineer is using 110 ohm or 75 ohm digital audio and fiber inputs or outputs.

Control is flexible and can be from board edge switches, front and remote panels, GPIs, SNMP and PC software. One GPI output is reserved for alarm indication and may be assigned any number of 37 video and audio alarms, allowing comprehensive signal monitoring.

SYNNER-E 3G is shipping now.

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