Crystal Vision interface selected for BBC Studios and Post Production's first 1080p50 studio

BBC Studios and Post Production has upgraded its Studio Six to be the UK’s first 1080p50 HD studio, with Crystal Vision selected as the exclusive interface supplier following the purchase of 137 boards by UK systems integrator ATG Broadcast.

Studio Six is the fourth permanent HD studio at BBC Television Centre in London. BBC Studios and Post Production has seen customer demand for HD increase, with the BBC having launched a simulcast of BBC One in High Definition in November and ITV HD also now fully up and running. To support the volume of work BBC Studios and Post Production has therefore invested in a further HD studio, and can also deliver HD from all of its other studios using HD flyaway equipment, which includes Crystal Vision’s 3Gb/s up and down converters and synchronisers. Studio Six can handle and display all HD formats, including 1080p50 and dual link, with the installation of a dual link 1.5Gb/s and single link 3Gb/s HD video infrastructure.

19 of Crystal Vision’s Up-Down-A 3G up/down/cross converters are being used for up conversion of SD equipment to HD. Featuring both motion adaptive video de-interlacing and Crystal Vision’s proprietary down conversion, Up-Down-A 3G can convert 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources, handles up to four groups of embedded audio and provides constant-in-format co-timed dual outputs which makes it easy to output both HD and SD at the same time. Seven Q-Down123 down converters are being used for the down conversion of HD to SD, with the SD outputs configurable as flexible mixtures of analogue and digital. Ten of these up and down converters are routable through the matrix, making them available for any additional equipment.

Five SYNNER-E 3G and two SYN102 synchronisers are being used on incoming and outgoing HD lines to and from the rest of the world. SYNNER-E 3G is Crystal Vision’s latest multi-functional synchroniser and combines a video synchroniser, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder and audio processor with optional fibre I/O on one board, and allows the embedding or de-embedding of up to eight AES in any combination as well as special Dolby E processing.

For the signal distribution, 16 3GDA distribution amplifiers – which work with 3Gb/s, HD and SD – are being used for test signals and general distribution feeds, with 20 analogue video DAs distributing both signal pulses and PAL floor feeds. 17 ADDEC-210 decoders, four ALLDAC encoders and eight MON210 monitoring encoders are being used for the conversion of DVDs to SDI.

26 TANDEM 3G audio embedders/de-embedders are being used to feed audio to and from the VTRs or servers. TANDEM 3G is a single board solution providing a combined embedder and de-embedder for four groups of audio, and includes full shuffling and overwriting of the mono channels between all four groups and optional integrated fibre input/output connectivity. An AADA416FM quad channel analogue audio distribution amplifier is being used for production talkback to cameras distribution, with the inputs and outputs able to be configured in five different ways.

Four Dual 3G-DL and four Dual DL-3G dual link converters are allowing the studio to convert from dual link to 3G for single stream transmission and vice versa. The main studio design is dual link to cater for stereoscopic production as well, with the Dual 3G-DL and Dual DL-3G designed to provide convenient transport of 3D signals on a single wire using Level B processing, which makes it easier to keep track of the 3D without locking the two pictures together, requires less cabling and saves router ports.

The Crystal Vision equipment is being controlled using the Statesman PC software, with the frames located in the Studio Six apparatus room.

The Studio Six refurbishment was completed in September. Crystal Vision interface boards were also selected for the HD upgrade of BBC Studios and Post Production’s Studio One in 2006 and Studio Four in 2008.

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.