Crystal Vision's new fiber optic transmitter saves rack space with 24 channels in 2RU

New from Crystal Vision is the FTX-L 3G – a fiber optic transmitter designed to transmit 3Gb/s, HD or SD signals over large distances in a robust, reliable and space-saving way and including two input loop-throughs ideal for system checking or distributing input video.

The FTX-L 3G is a dual channel device, which brings both financial and rack space savings by allowing up to 24 channels in a 2RU frame. It has two independent 3Gb/s, HD or SD inputs, each with one optical output, and can transmit a serial digital signal down a fiber optic cable – making it the perfect companion product to Crystal Vision’s FRX 3G fiber optic receiver. The FTX-L 3G meets the SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul specification, allowing operation with single-mode and multi-mode fiber and making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including moving signals in large installations.

The FTX-L 3G includes two customer-requested input loop-throughs, available on a Crystal Vision fiber product for the first time. These loop-throughs can be used to distribute the input video to equipment such as a picture monitor, or alternatively for system checking: if a signal path has a good input and a faulty output, the engineer can use the spare output to check each stage of the system without breaking any of the connections, and so work out which cable or piece of equipment is broken.

Explained Crystal Vision’s Managing Director, Philip Scofield: “Fiber connectivity continues to get easier and cheaper to build into a system. Most Crystal Vision products have both fiber and electrical inputs and outputs. Where there isn’t a fiber output on a device, the FTX-L 3G is a convenient way of connecting the two systems. The added electrical loop-through has allowed a large saving of distribution amplifiers for one of Europe’s national broadcasters and is a sign of Crystal Vision products developing to suit the needs of the high-volume users.”

Safety features on the FTX-L 3G include a Class I laser that will automatically switch off if there is no video input or if the laser’s working parameters fall out of specification. A warning is also given when the laser is approaching the end of its life. Specially modified laser modules allow the FTX-L 3G to cope successfully with pathological test pattern signals.

The standard FTX-L 3G uses a wideband 1310nm laser, but Crystal Vision can alternatively provide narrowband CWDM lasers on request – allowing the broadcaster to get multiple signals through one fiber by using a different wavelength of light for each signal and saving them money and rack space. Most popular for long-haul applications, CWDM (coarse wave division multiplexing) allows many signals to be transmitted down a single fiber link by using a different wavelength of light for each signal. Therefore by fitting the appropriate CWDM lasers the engineer can take the output signals from multiple FTX-L 3G and combine them with signals from other sources down one fiber.

The FTX-L 3G is a space-saving 100mm x 266mm module. It is housed in the standard Crystal Vision frames (available in 4RU, 2RU, 1RU and desk top box sizes) which makes it very easy to transmit signals from any of the company’s interface, keying or picture storage modules, by making system wiring easier. Inputs and outputs are accessed using the RM55 frame rear module – conveniently the same rear module used for the FRX 3G receiver. There is the usual choice of control, with options including board edge switches, an active front panel on the frame, a remote control panel, SNMP or the Statesman PC software.

Shipping now, the FTX-L 3G replaces the company’s previous fiber optic transmitter, the FTX 3G – bringing extra features at the same competitive price. Crystal Vision’s fiber products have become increasingly popular, with the company selling its highest level of fiber to date in 2011.

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.