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Echolab IBC2009 Preview

Company Background

Echolab, Inc. is a leading provider of video production switchers and related tools that offer flexibility and on-air reliability for the production and distribution of digital media in a variety of formats. With products including its flagship Overture1™ and Overture2™ video production systems, Echolab delivers the robust functionality, reliability, and ease-of-use critical to professional-quality productions. Since its founding in 1974, the company has delivered more than 6,000 production solutions to a global client base including major broadcast networks and stations, corporations, educational institutions, houses of worship, sports arenas, entertainment venues, and military facilities.

Echolab at IBC2009:

Echolab's offerings at IBC2009 once again display the company's philosophy of doing a lot for a little. Featuring the versatility that makes them ideally suited to a wide variety of venues, Echolab production systems are intuitive to operate and compact, but powerful enough to deliver consistent, outstanding quality.

New Echolab Products on Display at IBC2009:

Atem™ — Celebrating its 35th year in business, Echolab showcases Atem™, the paradigm-busting 1-M/E 3-Gbps 1080p/60 production switcher that sets new standards for flexibility, functionality, and utility. Features include four upstream and two downstream keyers as well as Echolab's unique SuperSource™ crosspoint and Stinger™ transitions, making it possible to build a composition of as many as 12 layers. Atem also offers maximum flexibility by virtue of 10 mixed-format inputs with built-in synchronization and scaling, so that every input accepts SD or HD signals. With two of the inputs also able to accept computer signals, the switcher fits seamlessly into any production environment. Atem includes program, preview, and three auxiliary outputs in the switcher's native format, as well as two analog auxiliary outputs with internal down/cross conversion for SD distribution. In short, Atem represents everything Echolab has learned from its customers in 35 years — all wrapped up in a 1-M/E switcher and offered at an extremely attractive low price.

Support for 3-Gbps Format Added to Overture™ MD Switchers — This year Echolab's versatile Overture™ MD switcher, available with 1 or 2 M/Es, becomes even more versatile with the addition of 3-Gbps (1080p60) format support to its existing range of SD, 720p, and 1080i formats over a single SDI or HDMI input. Many production companies and broadcasters use a mix of formats, requiring costly and cumbersome outboard equipment to translate signals for the switcher. With internal analog to digital conversion and frame sync, the Overture MD enables a compact, streamlined, and cost-effective production solution. The addition of 3-Gbps operation means the Overture now supports the highest quality broadcast format now on the market.

Existing Products on Display at IBC2009

Overture1™ and Overture2™ — Echolab's Overture1™ (1 M/E) and Overture2™ (2 M/E) are sleek, ergonomically designed multidefinition video production systems with a comprehensive range of intuitive tools for producing high-quality programming with stunning effects. Internal conversion and synchronization combine with powerful key layering and special effects to put creative control at the user's fingertips.

The Overture™ switchers' internal frame synchronization helps to ensure the quality of effects and, along with internal up/cross conversion and up to 34 internal graphics/still stores, eliminates the need for external systems, further streamlining the workflow and reducing the cost of creating a sophisticated on-air look.

Four M/E keys and two downstream keyers enable title keying for graphics, logos, and bugs, and Echolab's unique Stinger™ and SuperSource™ keys make it easy to achieve expert transitions with minimal effort. The Stinger transition is a special "Take Block" keyer with combined mix/wipe and graphic control that reduces complex animated transitions to a single button press. The SuperSource crosspoint allows the operator to build a custom layout using DVEs and graphics and then assign the composition to a crosspoint button. A DVE key in each "Take Block" enables instant transition effects. The Overture systems offer four channels of DVE with warp and lighting effects, accept up to 32 multiformat analog and digital signals, and provide as many as 16 multiformat outputs.

Conductor™ — Echolab's Conductor™ control integration system is a touch-screen computer that automates complex tasks and program elements to support fast, accurate, and creative production of the best programs possible. Internal software tools offer the operator total confidence while on air. In preproduction mode, Conductor allows the operator to configure the switcher, create complex sequences, and assign functions such as M/E presets to soft buttons. In on-air mode, Conductor becomes an extension of the control panel — a touch-screen interface with soft buttons that can execute sequences, recall M/E presets, and control third-party devices. In some applications, Conductor may be used to replace a dedicated still store.

Remote AUX Panel — The Remote AUX Panel uses TCP/IP to communicate with an Echolab switcher to modify the sources assigned to a particular auxiliary output. The Remote AUX Panel allows simple cuts from source to source from any location with an Ethernet connection back to the switcher. The panel can be used to control the sources that are routed to large video screens or projectors, which can be vital components in the overall live video production process.

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