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Crystal Vision shows new multi-functional interface products at NAB2012 (Booth N1815)

Crystal Vision will be showing its latest multi-functional interface products on Booth N1815 at NAB2012 – six new modules designed for embedding, synchronising, up and down converting and delaying 3Gb/s, HD and SD signals as well as transmitting them over longer distances. The multi-functionality of these 4 x 10.5 inch boards saves the broadcast engineer rack space and money: TANDEM 310 can embed and de-embed both digital and analogue audio simultaneously while decoding Dolby E, SYN-A 3G mixes an embedded audio synchronizer with an AFD inserter, Up-Down-AS 3G combines a dual converting up/down/cross converter with two synchronizers, and AVDELAY 3G replaces separate video and audio delays. All additionally include integrated fiber input or output connectivity in a single frame slot for further multi-functionality, while most work with four groups of audio and feature sophisticated handling of Dolby E.

TANDEM 310 is a combined embedder and de-embedder for 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources with the ability to embed and de-embed a mixture of up to eight AES and analog audio channels at the same time, which makes it a powerful and flexible platform for a multitude of embedded audio applications. With TANDEM 310 Crystal Vision releases for the first time a 3Gb/s-capable embedded audio product that can embed and de-embed analog audio – making the product ideal for studios where microphones make analog audio popular. To embed or de-embed the audio up to two piggybacks can be fitted to the main board, depending on how many audio channels are required. The HD-AIP2 piggyback is used for embedding two analog stereo pairs or four mono channels, the HD-AOP2 for de-embedding two analog stereo pairs or four mono channels and the DIOP4 for embedding or de-embedding four AES stereo pairs – with four bi-directional AES ports available on each DIOP4 piggyback. Analog and digital piggybacks can be mixed to create a hybrid system – ideal for those using analogue microphones with digital audio mixers. TANDEM 310 includes full audio routing, audio and video delays, audio and video processing and integrated fibre input/output connectivity. TANDEM 310 can also be optionally fitted with a Dolby decoder – a top board which connects directly to the main board through an expansion connector, allows a Dolby signal in the embedded video input to be decoded and either output as analog audio or re-embedded, and includes a stereo down mix from 5.1 surround sound. TANDEM 310 will be shipping in June.

Two new video synchronizers designed to suit different applications will be making their exhibition debut at NAB and are both shipping now. SYN 3G is a cost-effective way to get a robust video frame synchronizer which works with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources. Designed for applications without embedded audio, it can synchronize sources timed to a different reference (taking its timing from the external analog reference and automatically synchronizing sources between 0 and 1 frame) or correct any processing delays. It includes cross-locking, output timing adjustments (including three frames of additional video delay), manual and automatic freeze, a video proc-amp and integrated fiber I/O connectivity. SYN 3G provides four video outputs which saves an engineer who needs to send the synchronized signal to multiple places the expense of having a distribution amplifier on the output. SYN 3G is the most cost-effective of Crystal Vision’s three 3Gb/s-capable video synchronizers.

The second new video frame synchronizer is SYN-A 3G, designed for synchronizing 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources containing up to four groups of embedded audio. Like the SYN 3G, it can synchronize sources timed to a different reference or correct any processing delays, and includes the cross-locking, output timing adjustments, freeze, video proc-amp, integrated fibre and four video outputs. SYN-A 3G also features a tracking audio delay with additional AES and Dolby E delays available on top of the tracking, as well as audio resampling and audio routing between all four groups. It includes excellent Dolby E handling: it can synchronize video containing Dolby E, standard AES audio or a mixture of the two in the same audio group – making it ideal for those working in mixed Dolby E and AES environments. It will separate the Dolby E and linear AES and synchronize both types in the appropriate way before re-embedding the audio, and will also automatically align Dolby E with the guardband. SYN-A 3G can also be used as an AFD inserter, with SMPTE 2016 AFD data added to a signal to describe the aspect ratio to downstream equipment. It can embed one of 16 AFD codes into the signal for the down converter to read, with the code describing which areas of the screen contain a picture and which areas are black ‘padding’.

Crystal Vision’s best-selling products are up and down converters, and the new Up-Down-AS 3G is a synchronizing up/down/cross converter which allows engineers to synchronize sources timed to a different reference or correct any processing delays while up and down converting. Up-Down-AS 3G allows flexible up, down and cross conversions between 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources containing up to four groups of audio and provides an output picture quality that broadcasters standardize on, thanks to motion adaptive video de-interlacing, Crystal Vision’s acclaimed proprietary down conversion, adjustable detail enhancement and noise reduction. It can perform two different conversions simultaneously and give out co-timed dual outputs that remain unchanged in format thanks to the intelligent internal routing – ideal for a television channel which requires HD and SD copies of the same input material. To keep the output valid at all times Up-Down-AS 3G has two full framestore synchronizers downstream of the converter which means that it gives a continuous clean output in the two desired formats even when the input standard changes, important for the MPEG encoder which requires a continuously stable video input. Whatever format or timing the signal arrives with, the broadcast engineer will get timed signals in two desired formats to use in his system. The numerous features include cross-locking, output timing adjustments, aspect ratio conversion, tracking audio delay, Dolby E handling and guardband alignment, audio resampling, AFD insertion and reading, audio routing, integrated fibre, timecode conversion, and transport of both teletext and closed captions between the different definitions.

AVDELAY 3G is an audio/video delay designed for correcting large lip-sync errors on incoming 3Gb/s, HD or SD signals containing up to four groups of embedded audio that have a big timing difference between the video and audio paths. This timing difference can be caused by sending the video and audio signals back to the broadcast station by different methods (such as by satellite for the video and via Skype or ISDN for the audio), potentially resulting in multiple seconds timing difference between the vision and audio commentary when they arrive back at base. On AVDELAY 3G the audio and video delays are independently adjustable, allowing the user to change the relative audio/video timing by several seconds in either direction. The board provides ten seconds of video delay in SD, five seconds in HD and two seconds in 3Gb/s, along with ten seconds of audio delay. The video delay is adjustable in seconds and frames, while the four audio delays are adjustable in seconds, video frames and milliseconds. AVDELAY 3G provides sophisticated handling of Dolby E audio, which is automatically aligned with the guardband of the outgoing video, and can include integrated fiber input/output connectivity. AVDELAY 3G is a unique one-board solution that replaces separate audio and video delays, making it both more cost-effective and easier to control.

With Crystal Vision’s fiber products more popular than ever before, the new FTX-L 3G fiber optic transmitter has been designed to transmit 3Gb/s, HD or SD signals over large distances in a robust, reliable and space-saving way. Meeting the SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul specification allowing operation with single-mode and multi-mode fibre, the FTX-L 3G is dual channel, which brings financial and rack space savings with up to 48 channels possible in a 4U frame. It has two independent 3Gb/s, HD or SD inputs, each with one optical output, and can transmit a serial digital signal down a fiber optic cable – making it the perfect companion product to Crystal Vision’s FRX 3G fiber optic receiver. The FTX-L 3G includes two customer-requested input loop-throughs, available on a Crystal Vision fiber product for the first time. These loop-throughs can be used to distribute the input video to equipment such as a picture monitor, or alternatively for system checking: if a signal path has a good input and a faulty output, the engineer can use the spare output to check each stage of the system without breaking any of the connections, and so work out which equipment or cable is broken. Crystal Vision can additionally provide CWDM lasers for the FTX-L 3G – allowing the broadcaster to get multiple signals through one fiber by using a different wavelength of light for each signal and saving them money and rack space.

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