206 Crystal Vision interface boards used for "EastEnders" HD upgrade

Crystal Vision has been selected as the exclusive interface supplier for the HD upgrade of the BBC program “EastEnders”, with the purchase of 206 boards by UK systems integrator Dega Broadcast Systems.

First broadcast in 1985, “EastEnders” is shown on BBC One and BBC Three in the UK and is also broadcast in various countries around the world. The program is shot in four studios and a Lot area which are controlled from three dedicated production galleries, and the 206 interface boards are all located in three vision apparatus rooms on the BBC Elstree site in Hertfordshire, England.

Danny Popkin, BBC Studios and Post Production's Technical Development Manager, explained his selection: “Having a common interface supplier reduces the need for spares holding and additional training for our engineering staff. Quick delivery was also important to meet the timescales and therefore avoid delaying the show’s production.”

50 of the Q-Down123 down converters will be used to feed SD monitors. Known for its high quality output, short processing delay and flexible outputs, Q-Down123 provides two reclocked input loop-throughs along with three Standard Definition outputs that can be configured as mixtures of SDI, composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB.

Six Up-and-down converters – which can perform up, down and cross conversions between SD, 720p and 1080i with motion adaptive video de-interlacing – will allow SD devices to be used in HD.

48 VDA110M HD analog video distribution amplifiers will be used to distribute signal pulses, giving a maximum of eleven outputs and including high quality equalization and gain adjustments.

A total of 43 digital video DAs will be used for floor distribution. The 3GDA105N and 3GDA111N can distribute 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources (providing five and eleven non-reclocked outputs respectively), while the DDA108 SDI DA provides eight reclocked outputs.

Nine SYN HD synchronizers will be used both to synchronize the main record feed and also to stop specific monitors from flashing when cutting between non-synchronous sources. SYN HD includes a short minimum delay of 2us, full vertical and horizontal timing adjustment and fast locking after an upstream switch to avoid picture disturbance.

Feeds to in-shot monitors will have their color scene adjusted using three CoCo HD color correctors. CoCo HD includes independent RGB gain, lift and gamma adjustments, has advanced correction for gamut errors when legalizing and supports 22 different video standards.

With three layers of keying and the ability to store up to 250 graphics, two of the MultiLogo V131 logo keyers will be used to add captions to monitors.

Eight of the dual channel FTX 3G fiber optic transmitters, which can transmit 3Gb/s, HD or SD signals and meets the SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul specification, will provide HD outputs to floor monitors on long cable runs.

Finally, 18 ALLDAC encoders and 19 ADDEC-210 decoders will convert feeds to and from VHS and DVD machines. ALLDAC combines a 12 bit broadcast D to A converter with a distribution amplifier, and can convert SDI into flexible combinations of analog and digital, while the 12 bit ADDEC-210 can convert composite, Y/C, YUV or RGB signals to SDI, and includes a framestore synchronizer, adjustment of output timing and gain and level adjustments. “EastEnders” will also continue to use its existing Crystal Vision PAL to SDI converters for the VHS machines.

Housed in 25 Indigo 2SE frames, which can each hold up to 12 modules in just 2RU of rack space, the boards will be controlled by board edge switches.

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.