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Crystal Vision debuts latest embedded audio and down conversion technology at IBC 2009

Crystal Vision will be showing its new generation of embedders, synchronizers, down converters and switches on Stand 2.B11 at IBC 2009. This new range of uniquely-featured 3G HD products proves that Crystal Vision is leading the way with its 3Gb/s technology, with the competitive pricing making the products suitable for use in 3G, HD and SD systems.

TANDEM 3G is the first single board solution providing a combined embedder and de-embedder for four groups of audio. Its additional ability to work with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources makes it an economic and flexible solution for a very wide range of applications. Featuring bi-directional digital audio inputs and outputs on the board which can be configured in stereo pairs, it offers nine different combinations for embedding and de-embedding external audio. Typically used for embedding or de-embedding eight AES channels, or for embedding four AES while de-embedding four AES at the same time, such is the flexibility it could also be used to embed three channels and de-embed five if required. When routing the audio TANDEM 3G offers full shuffling and overwriting of the mono channels between all four groups thanks to the powerful 32 x 32 audio router. An audio delay of 80ms will compensate for any video processing, while any of the AES audio can be modified with stereo to mono conversion and gain adjustments. It includes extensive Dolby E handling, including Dolby E positioning and a switchable one frame video delay to match Dolby E delays. TANDEM 3G is ideal for applications requiring both embedding and de-embedding at the same time, while for those that just need to embed or de-embed there is no price premium to buy one device that can be used as both an embedder or de-embedder as required.

SYNNER-E 3G will simplify system designs for those working with 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources in AES or Dolby E environments. With the ability to work with four groups of audio, this ultimate device for all embedding, de-embedding and timing requirements combines a video synchronizer, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder, audio processor and video proc-amp on one 4 x 10.5 inches board, and includes special features for flexible processing of Dolby E. The acclaimed synchronizing features include full horizontal and vertical timing adjustment, cross-locking, three point synchronizing and fast locking after an upstream switch to avoid picture disturbance. With bi-directional digital audio inputs and outputs on the board, up to eight channels of external AES or Dolby E can be embedded or de-embedded in any combination, while flexible audio routing comes from a 32 x 32 router which allows the shuffling and overwriting of any channels. The special Dolby E features include the ability to synchronize video which contains a mixture of Dolby E and standard AES within the same audio group, while the video and standard audio can both be delayed to compensate for Dolby E delays and a selectable one field video delay can be used to correctly align the Dolby E data with the video frame.

Crystal Vision will be unveiling two new versions of its popular Q-Down down converter at IBC. One of Crystal Vision’s most successful products, Q-Down is a broadcast down converter and distribution amplifier with two major advantages: a unique level of image quality in its price range (with its sophisticated two dimensional filtering) and a short processing delay of just 16 lines which eliminates the need to compensate audio signals for the video delay. The flexible outputs available include reclocked loop-throughs of the HD or SD input and three Standard Definition outputs individually link selectable between analog (composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB) and digital, while Q-Down also deals with any aspect ratio conversion requirements. The first new version is Q-Down 3G, ideal for those working with or planning 3G HD installations with its ability to down convert or distribute 3Gb/s, HD and SD signals as well as optional embedded audio handling. Also new is Q-Down Mini – Crystal Vision’s first minibox designed for attaching directly to the back of SD monitors in space-challenged environments with no spare rack space. This customer-requested product was developed because the customer could find no alternative standalone product with the same level of conversion quality or short delay: this is the first time a full broadcast quality down converter has been available in a minibox. Competitively priced and available with a separate power supply, control comes from DIP switches accessed from outside the box, from GPIs and from links within the box.

Also on show at IBC will be Crystal Vision’s 3G HD modular switching range of products. The first of these is the SW803 3G – an 8 x 3 crosspoint routing switch which works with 3Gb/s, HD and SDI and which can route eight inputs to any of three outputs. The SW803 3G is perfect as a secondary matrix for small studio uses, and is particularly suited to any small routing applications already using other Crystal Vision boards, such as providing a selection of backgrounds for a chroma keyer. Housed in the standard frames and with up to six SW803 3G fitting in 2RU, it saves valuable rack space compared to a stand-alone routing switch. The SW803 3G can switch in the vertical blanking interval to avoid picture disturbance, with timing information provided by either a Black & Burst or Tri-level syncs analog reference or by a digital reference generated from any of the four main board inputs, while the flexible control options include PC software or a dedicated 1RU control panel.

The SW221 3G provides simple and affordable 2 x 2 switching between two 3Gb/s, HD or SDI signals and is ideal for use either as an emergency transmission switch to avoid broken equipment or to manually bypass products requiring maintenance on a 24 hour station. An automatic switch away from a faulty source is triggered on loss of input, invalid video or invalid format, while with manual switching there is the choice of switching between the two feeds either immediately or in the vertical blanking period to enable a cleaner switch. The SW221 3G reduces the need for separate distribution amplifiers by providing two outputs of the first switched signal along with one output of the second, and includes relay bypass protection on power failure or board removal to provide an extra layer of security.

The third routing switch is Smart Switch 3G, which is ideal for securing the video output in systems that need high reliability. It provides intelligent 2 x 2 switching to a backup signal source by monitoring two 3Gb/s, HD or SDI video inputs with up to four groups of embedded audio and switching between the sources if a specified fault condition arises, and also includes relay bypass protection. Smart Switch 3G has been designed to extract information about various parts of the video signal to decide which of the two inputs is better, based on a user selection of which parameters are significant. Any number of criteria can be selected from a long list, including input present, input video standard, video frozen, video black, various EDH errors (SD only), line CRC error (HD formats only), audio group missing and silence on a specific audio channel. Smart Switch 3G will switch away from an error on the main input only if the backup is free of that fault, while should the main and standby inputs have different alarms set Smart Switch 3G will work to the most significant feature to decide which input to select. Smart Switch 3G is most commonly used with the Statesman PC software, where it can be set to either ignore or create an alarm on any of the numerous features it can measure.

Extensive demo areas on the stand will allow IBC visitors to try out the new features for the Picturestore range, Crystal Vision’s area of speciality based on solid-state fast reading and writing DRAM and permanent Flash picture storage. The new features for the MultiLogo logo keyer and the Clip N Key clip and sting store include versions with an 8 GB video store, plus the addition of audio functionality and the ability to lock the output to an analog reference to ensure a correctly-timed, uninterrupted output. Crystal Vision now offers affordable sports action replay of up to 60 seconds of HD video or 310 seconds of SD with Playback 8G. Finally, for engineers who need to match any very long delays in their system, ViViD HD-40 provides up to 43 seconds of delay in HD and 238 seconds in SD.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK, 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.