Crystal Vision has released its first High Definition fiber optic transmitter and receiver - at the same price as its earlier Standard Definition versions. The FTX HD transmitter and FRX HD receiver together provide a robust transport medium to transmit either High Definition or Standard Definition signals over large distances.

The FTX HD has two independent HD or SD inputs, each with one optical output. It can transmit a serial digital signal down a fiber optic cable to the FRX HD: a fiber to HD or SD receiver and distribution amplifier offering two optical inputs and two reclocked HD or SD outputs per channel. The fact that these single height 100mm x 266mm boards are dual channel brings both financial and rack space savings with up to 48 channels possible in a 4U frame. In addition, having two outputs reduces the need for distribution amplifiers after the receiver, bringing further savings.

The FTX HD and FRX HD meet the SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul specification. This allows operation with single-mode and multi-mode fiber, over distances of up to 22km with single-mode (SMPTE 297-2006 annex D). This makes them suitable for a wide range of applications - from moving signals in large installations to passing signals between OB vehicles.

Safety features are paramount, with a Class I laser that will automatically switch off if there is no HD or SD input or if the laser‘s working parameters become 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 HD to cope successfully with pathological test pattern signals. It is also possible to monitor the received power on the FRX HD - useful because knowing how much power is getting through to the receiver allows the broadcast engineer to judge the amount of headroom he has.

The FTX HD and FRX HD form a natural part of the Crystal Vision interface range - and this is one of their greatest strengths. They are housed in the company‘s standard frames (available in 4U, 2U, 1U and desk top box) which makes it easy to use them with any interface or keying board - allowing the conversion, synchronising or embedding of a signal before sending it where it needs to go. Crystal Vision has already received numerous orders for the FTX HD and FRX HD for use alongside its interface products, following an increasing use of fiber in systems owing to the more limited range of coaxial cable with HD.

The inputs and outputs are accessed by using the RM31 frame rear module with the FTX HD and the RM28 with the FRX HD. The flexible control options include board edge switches, an active front panel on the frame, a remote control panel or the Statesman PC software.

With their ability to work with both HD and SD, the FTX HD and FRX HD have replaced Crystal Vision‘s original Standard Definition fiber transmitter and receiver, the FTX202 and FRX204, and are shipping now.

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