Crystal Vision adds fiber connectivity to embedded audio and up and down modules at NAB2010 (Booth N820)

On Booth N820 at NAB Crystal Vision will be showing for the first time the fiber input and output options for its latest embedded audio and up and down modules. This integrated fiber connectivity makes the Up-Down 3G up/down/cross converter, Q-Down 3G down converter, SYNNER-E 3G multi-functional synchronizer and TANDEM 3G embedder/de-embedder extremely powerful products which still only use a single slot in a frame, and allows signals to be sent and received from beyond the local equipment bay without being restricted by the cable length issues posed by 3G video – and without the need for separate fiber optic transmitters and receivers.

Up and down converters have been Crystal Vision’s best-selling products of the last year, and NAB sees the addition to the range of two new 3G versions.

Up-Down 3G allows flexible up, down and cross conversions between 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources and includes special features to allow studios to easily operate in HD and SD at the same time. The up conversions available are 525i/625i to 720p/1080i/1080p, 720p to 1080p, and 1080i to 1080p, the down conversions are 1080p to 1080i/720p/625i/525i, 1080i to 625i/525i, and 720p to 625i/525i, and the cross conversions are 1080i to 720p and 720p to 1080i. Providing an output picture of exceptional quality, Up-Down 3G offers the choice of three processing options: either Crystal Vision’s proprietary short-delay down conversion, motion adaptive video de-interlacing up/down/cross conversion which maximizes the picture’s vertical resolution, or a matching delay. With Up-Down 3G it is possible to perform multiple conversions at the same time by using two of the three processing blocks at once – with the board incorporating a 3 x 2 switch – which allows installations that work in multiple definitions to create both HD and SD copies of a feed to fulfil their requirement to offer HD and SD programmes simultaneously.

Up-Down 3G provides co-timed main and secondary outputs, with two feeds of the relay bypass protected main output and three feeds of the secondary output. The most common application is to have 1080i out on one output and SD on the other, with the input as either 1080i or SD – but the board is fully flexible and the inputs and outputs can be configured in any way. Operation is straightforward: the outputs can be selected to be 1080p, 1080i, 720p or SD and Up-Down 3G will simply use the appropriate processing blocks to create those outputs. Each output will either be converted from the input or be given a matching delay as required, with the matching delay allowing all the signals to have the same timing and enabling the use of common audio. One of Up-Down 3G’s special features is that it will always put out HD and SD in the same place on the same pins, regardless of the input – meaning the engineer always knows which output is going to be which and therefore does not need to change his wiring.

Up-Down 3G will look after any aspect ratio conversion requirements when up or down converting, while it can also be used to label a signal with SMPTE 2016 data to describe the Active Format Description (AFD), which some HD installations use to allow a following down converter to output the Standard Definition with an appropriate aspect ratio conversion. It can pass four groups of audio, de-embedding the four groups and converting them to the appropriate format before re-embedding them, and also includes signal probe functionality.

Q-Down 3G is Crystal Vision’s broadcast down converter and distribution amplifier and has been designed for broadcasters who want to keep the maximum quality of their 3Gb/s or HD signals when down converting, combining the three advantages of outstanding picture quality, short processing delay and competitive pricing. Q-Down 3G can down convert 1080p 3Gb/s, 720p HD and 1080i HD at both 50Hz and 59.94Hz, and gives out flexible combinations of either HD analog and digital or SD analog (composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB) and digital. Q-Down 3G additionally provides two reclocked loop-throughs of the 3Gb/s, HD or SD input, along with another six loop-throughs if a DA6 top board is fitted.

Using Crystal Vision’s propriety processing, Q-Down 3G provides a unique level of image quality in its price range – avoiding aliasing while retaining picture sharpness, while the short processing delay of just 16 lines eliminates the need to compensate audio or other signals for the video delay. It can pass four groups of embedded audio, de-embedding the four groups and converting them to the appropriate format before re-embedding them, and also includes signal probe functionality and three fixed delay settings along with a variable video delay to match other equipment delays in the system. Q-Down 3G includes the ability to deal with any 3Gb/s or HD to SD aspect ratio conversion requirements, while it is also possible to select the output aspect ratio according to the SMPTE 2016 AFD data embedded in the 3G/s or HD input video and to insert WSS into the SD output. The Q-Down-AT 3G version also includes timecode and closed captions capability.

Crystal Vision will be launching two new embedded audio products at NAB.

SYNNER-E 3G will simplify system designs for those working with 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources in AES or Dolby E environments. With the ability to work with four groups of audio, it combines a video synchronizer, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder, audio processor and video proc-amp, and includes special features for the flexible processing of Dolby E – all on one 4 x 10.5 inches board. SYNNER-E 3G can both synchronize incoming video signals which are not locked to the local reference and compensate for timing delays within the video system. The acclaimed synchronizing features include full horizontal and vertical timing adjustment, cross-locking (allowing use of either tri-level syncs or Black and Burst as the analog reference), and fast locking after an upstream switch to avoid picture disturbance. With bi-directional digital audio inputs and outputs on the board, up to eight channels of external AES or Dolby E can be embedded or de-embedded in any combination with a 32 x 32 router allowing the shuffling and overwriting of any channels. The tracking audio delay ensures the video and linear audio stay correctly timed to avoid lip sync errors.

SYNNER-E 3G provides unmatched functionality for Dolby E users. It can synchronize video containing Dolby E, standard audio or a mixture of the two – allowing a mixture of Dolby E and standard AES within a single 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 Dolby E delays and a selectable one field video delay can be used to correctly align the Dolby E data with the video frame. Also included is a video proc-amp for picture optimization and audio processing.

TANDEM 3G is the first single board solution providing a combined embedder and de-embedder for four groups of audio. Working with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources, TANDEM 3G offers complete freedom when embedding and de-embedding external audio. Bi-directional digital audio connections on the board can be configured in stereo pairs as AES inputs or AES outputs or any mixture of the two, allowing the embedding or de-embedding of up to eight AES at the same time and in any combination. TANDEM 3G offers full shuffling and overwriting of the mono channels between all four groups thanks to the powerful 32 x 32 audio router. Other features include a video proc-amp, audio processing, an optional audio delay of 80ms to compensate for any video processing, and a switchable one or two frames video delay for matching Dolby E delays. TANDEM 3G is ideal for applications requiring both embedding and de-embedding at the same time, or for those that want to buy just one device that can be used as both an embedder or de-embedder as required.

Crystal Vision has added three new features to MultiLogo – its modular logo keyer based on solid-state fast reading and writing DRAM and permanent Flash picture storage. Designed for HD or SD station branding, MultiLogo provides three layers of keying from a variety of internal and external sources, including a 4 GB or 8 GB multi-port non-volatile video store. All the new features can be accessed by using the MultiLogo control software – a single piece of easy-to-use software which results in logos displayed on the screen within five minutes. The first new feature is easy trimming of recorded video clips, which makes it easy to transfer a clip and key from a tape – and which has also been added to Crystal Vision’s clip and sting store, Clip N Key. The operator can step through a clip frame by frame by using the “Next” and “Previous” controls and set “Mark in” and “Mark out” points, and then trim the clip to get rid of the unwanted sections. The second new feature is text labelling of presets, where identifying text such as the program name can be assigned to each numbered preset – making it quicker for the operator to select the correct preset. Finally, MultiLogo gains enhanced GPI functionality, with the introduction of extremely flexible GPI control of each key level – facilitating the inclusion of complicated effects from any mixer or automation system.

Crystal Vision is also introducing two products for those currently trialling 3D systems. The Dual 3G-DL and Dual DL-3G have been designed to interface between 1080p dual link (SMPTE 372M) equipment and 3Gb/s equipment, allowing integration of existing dual link equipment into a 3G system without taking up two ports on jackfields and routers – and are additionally useful for 3D processing applications. The Dual 3G-DL is a 3G to dual link converter which converts a signal on a single 3GHz link to dual 1.5GHz links, while the Dual DL-3G is a dual link to 3G converter, designed to convert a signal on dual 1.5GHz links to a single 3GHz link. The Dual 3G-DL and Dual DL-3G can be used to pass 3D programmes. They allow two 3D images to be combined on a single line using Level B processing, passing two different HD signals on a single 3G signal and then splitting them so they become two separate HD signals again. The Dual 3G-DL and Dual DL-3G can also be used to interface between dual link input 3D mixers and two linked cameras.

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