On Booth SU3102 at NAB2009 Crystal Vision will be introducing new features for the Picturestore range – the company’s area of speciality based on solid-state fast reading and writing DRAM and permanent Flash picture storage – as well as launching its 3G HD product range.

The new features for MultiLogo and Clip N Key include doubling the size of the video store to 8 GB, plus the addition of audio functionality and an analog reference. Designed for branding HD or SD television stations, MultiLogo is a sophisticated modular logo keyer – a space-saving board which provides three layers of keying from a variety of internal and external sources, including an 8 GB eight-port non-volatile video store that can read six still or animated images and write two images all at the same time. Clip N Key, meanwhile, is the most convenient way to add extra video sources to a switcher to enhance transitions in sports or live events programming. It allows a special clip or sting with optional associated key signal to be played repeatedly without tying up a server port.. The 8 GB multi-port video store can store a number of different video clips, up to 60 seconds total in HD (30 seconds if it includes a key signal) or six times that length in SD. MultiLogo and Clip N Key now both have the ability to embed a single audio group into their video outputs. Audio data is transferred to and from the boards via Ethernet using the PC drag-and-drop software. On the ‘double decker’ versions of the boards a stereo pair from the AES input can be embedded or recorded, while the two audio pairs selected for embedding can also be output as AES. Audio routing of the stereo pairs allows selection of which of the possible sources are embedded. The audio can be played out separately (allowing Clip N Key to be used as an audio clip player, for example), or alternatively the audio and video ports can be locked together so that the files can be played out at the same time – allowing the video clip or logo to have accompanying audio. Also new is the ability to lock the output to an SD or HD analog reference, allowing MultiLogo and Clip N Key to be used as a test pattern generator or a free-standing video source, or for the two channels to be used independently.

Designed for affordable sports replay technology, Playback 8G is Crystal Vision’s latest instant replay device which can replay 60 seconds of HD video or 310 seconds of SD at a significantly lower price than the hard drive alternatives. Playback 8G has an 8 GB video store and features industry standard software protocols (including Sony VTR and VDCP) to allow it to be controlled from any third party hardware or software. A dedicated web page allows the broadcast engineer to choose whether to use some of the memory for embedded audio. Playback 8G will continuously record (and overwrite) until something of interest happens at which point the operator will press Stop. The last 60 seconds of recorded HD video is then available for replay, with flexible playback options available including Play, Still, Continue, Jog and Vari Play. When they have finished reviewing the footage, the operator presses Record again which overwrites the stored video.

ViViD HD-40 is a variable video delay line designed for engineers who need to match very long delays in their system. It provides up to 42 seconds of delay in HD and 238 seconds in SD, while saving rack space by allowing 12 video delay modules to fit in just 2RU of rack space. Featuring an 8 GB video store, ViViD HD-40 is ideal for use as part of a profanity delay system, or to match MPEG encoders and decoders, MPEG-compressed HD radio links or virtual studio graphics that require more than half a second of HD delay. The output timing is based on the video input and is adjustable in seconds, frames, lines and pixels for true flexibility. It delays not just the active picture but the entire video stream with embedded audio and ancillary data staying with the associated video, allowing it to be used without restrictions in embedded audio areas.

Crystal Vision will be using NAB to launch its range of three 3G HD modular switching products, each with relay bypass protection on power failure or board removal to provide an extra layer of security. The first of these is the SW803 3G: an 8 x 3 crosspoint routing switch which works with 3G HD, HD and SDI and is ideal as a small or secondary matrix for multi-standard environments. It can send the eight inputs to any of the three outputs, with this ‘double decker’ 100mm x 266mm module saving valuable rack space compared to a stand-alone product by allowing up to six routing switches in 2U. Timing information is provided by either Black & Burst or Tri-level syncs references, allowing the SW803 3G to switch in the vertical blanking interval to avoid picture disturbance, while it can also be set to switch immediately – useful in cases where there is no common reference. The SW803 3G is ideal for small studio uses, such as providing backgrounds for a chroma keyer.

The SW221 3G provides simple 2 x 2 switching between two 3G HD, HD or SDI signals and is ideal for use either as an emergency transmission switch to avoid broken equipment or to manually bypass products requiring maintenance. An automatic switch away from a faulty source is triggered on loss of input or invalid video, while there is the choice of switching between the two feeds either immediately or in the vertical blanking period to enable a clean switch. Each of the two inputs can be switched to either or both of the two outputs, with the SW221 3G providing two outputs of the first switched signal and one output of the second.

Ideal for securing the video output in systems that need high reliability, the Smart Switch 3G provides intelligent 2 x 2 switching to a backup signal source by monitoring two 3G HD, HD or SDI video inputs with embedded audio and switching between the sources if a specified fault condition arises. It allows the broadcast engineer to choose to switch away from even the most subtle fault, with the selectable parameters including video frozen, video black, audio group missing and silence on a specific audio channel. Smart Switch 3G will switch away from an error on the main input only if the backup is free of that fault, while should the main and standby inputs have different alarms set Smart Switch 3G will work to the most significant feature to decide which input to select.

Crystal Vision is well-known for developing unusual products, and NAB sees the launch of two of these. The Dual 3G-DL and Dual DL-3G have been designed to interface between 1080p dual link (SMPTE 372M) and 3G HD equipment, allowing integration of existing dual link equipment into a 3G system without taking up two ports on jackfields and routers. Ideal for use together, the Dual 3G-DL is a 3G to dual link converter which converts a signal on a single 3Gb/s link to dual 1.5Gb/s links, while the Dual DL-3G is a dual link to 3G converter, designed to convert a signal on dual 1.5Gb/s links to a single 3Gb/s link. The products provide the most space-saving solution available: not only are they both dual channel, but they are also compact modules which fit in the standard rack frames, with up to 12 converters (24 channels) housed in 2RU.

Those working with analog video or reference signals will be interested in Crystal Vision’s new distribution amplifier. Its ability to indicate the presence of HD or SD video makes the VDA110M HD ideal for distributing HD Tri-level syncs, SD Black & Burst reference or HD and SD analog video. It can be used with six different frame rear modules to give the perfect output combination for every application, providing a maximum of eleven analog outputs or ten outputs with a loop-through, and includes high quality equalization to correct any distortion to the analog signal caused by up to 300m of cable length, as well as gain adjustments of +/-3dB. A remotely controlled version, the VDA110R HD, is also available.

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