Skip to main content

Crystal Vision introduces affordable emergency switch for 3G, HD or SD sources

Crystal Vision's SW221 3G has been designed to provide simple and affordable 2 x 2 switching between two 3Gb/s, HD or SD signals, making it ideal for switching between the main and backup feeds of a television station. Selected for its functionality, reliability and price, the SW221 3G can be used either as an emergency transmission switch to avoid broken equipment, or alternatively to manually bypass products requiring maintenance on a 24 hour station.

The SW221 3G can be set to switch either manually or automatically. With manual switching there is the choice of switching between the two feeds either immediately or in the vertical blanking period, with the SW221 3G detecting the video standard and switching at the appropriate point to enable a cleaner switch. An automatic switch away from a faulty source is triggered immediately on loss of input or invalid video, determined by loss of the sync word structure. A single format can be set as valid, allowing the SW221 3G to automatically switch away from inputs that are legal but not the correct format. Switching back can either be automatic or by user intervention. When set to automatic the board will switch back if the original input returns to a valid state, with a useful programmable delay ensuring that the previously faulty input is definitely stable before switching back. When set to user activated it will stay on the new selection until the routing is changed by the operator, or the new input becomes invalid.

The SW221 3G also potentially saves the broadcast engineer the expense of having a separate distribution amplifier in his system by providing two outputs of the first switched signal, along with one output of the other – with the secondary signal output ideal for previewing both the main and the backup feeds.

Explained Crystal Vision’s Managing Director, Philip Scofield: “The SW221 3G continues a tradition of us supplying a very popular Standard Definition product, the SW222 2 x 2 switch, to some of the world’s biggest playout centers. Crystal Vision is trusted to supply a product which is often the single point of failure in a resilient system – and understands the level of quality and reliability that implies.”

The SW221 3G is a space-saving 4 x 10.5 inches module which fits in Crystal Vision’s standard frames (available in four sizes and with 12 boards housed in 2RU) allowing easy integration with any products from the range. The inputs and outputs are accessed by using the RM53 or RM54 frame rear modules, with the RM54 providing an extra layer of security by including relay bypass protection to prevent signal loss on power failure or board removal. Control of the SW221 3G is completely flexible and includes board edge switches, front and remote panels, SNMP, GPIs and PC software.

Shipping now, the SW221 3G is part of Crystal Vision’s 3Gb/s modular switching range of products, each designed to provide a space-saving solution to three different applications and available at a price to also justify use with HD and SD sources. The other two modules in the range are the Smart Switch 3G 2 x 2 intelligent switch and the SW803 3G 8 x 3 crosspoint routing switch.

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.