Crystal Vision shows project-winning up and down converters and embedded audio modules at IBC 2010

The four new interface products that Crystal Vision will be showing on Stand 2.B11 at IBC 2010 work with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources, can handle four groups of embedded audio and include the option of integrated fiber input/output connectivity. They have also helped Crystal Vision to win many of the biggest projects currently happening in the broadcast industry, following in-depth product evaluation and acceptance by major broadcasters.

At IBC Crystal Vision will be demonstrating the project-winning features of the Up-Down 3G up/down/cross converter, Q-Down-A 3G short-delay down converter and DA, TANDEM 3G embedder/de-embedder and SYNNER-E 3G multi-functional synchronizer. Crystal Vision products have always been designed to save rack space by being space-saving modules with 12 fitting in a 2U frame, but go one step further now with the latest products fitting more functionality in a single frame slot than ever before. The FIP fiber input and FOP fiber output options plug directly on to the Up-Down 3G, Q-Down-A 3G, TANDEM 3G and SYNNER-E 3G motherboards making it easy for them to send or receive signals from beyond the local equipment bay, while having the fiber integral to the board reduces the need to use additional rack space and money for separate fiber optic transmitters and receivers.

Predicted to be one of Crystal Vision’s best-selling products of the next 12 months, Up-Down 3G allows flexible up, down and cross conversions between 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources, provides an output picture of exceptional quality and includes special features to allow studios to easily operate in HD and SD at the same time. The up conversions are SD to 720p, 1080i or 1080p, while the down conversions are 1080p, 1080i or 720p to SD. The cross conversions are 720p to 1080i or 1080p, 1080i to 720p or 1080p, and 1080p to 1080i or 720p. Up-Down 3G’s excellent picture quality is a result of motion adaptive video de-interlacing, which maximizes the picture’s vertical resolution while choosing the best processing method based on the video content.

One of Up-Down 3G’s special features is that it can perform two different conversions on the one board simultaneously – making it easy to create HD and SD copies of a feed which is beneficial for the many installations that work in both HD and SD. Up-Down 3G provides dual outputs that can individually be configured as 3G/HD or SD by the engineer, and will always put out 3G/HD and SD in the same place regardless of the input, thanks to its smart internal routing – removing the need to change the wiring on a change of input. Up-Down 3G also makes it easy for the signals to all have the same timing: each output will either be converted from the input or given a matching delay as required – enabling the use of common audio. Up-Down 3G will switch instantly should the input format change, making it suitable for playout as well as studio applications.

It will look after any aspect ratio conversion requirements when up or down converting, while to ensure an appropriate aspect ratio is chosen at all times, it can either label a signal with SMPTE 2016 data or can select the output aspect ratio according to the SMPTE 2016 AFD data already embedded in the video. It can pass four groups of audio, de-embedding the four groups and converting them to the appropriate format before re-embedding them, includes signal probe functionality, and can pass Ancillary Timecode from the input to the output and set the phase of the interlaced output based on the ATC data.

Q-Down-A 3G is a broadcast down converter and distribution amplifier designed for broadcasters who want to keep the maximum quality of their 3Gb/s or HD signals when down converting. 1080p video can be converted to 720p or 1080i digital and analog, or to SD digital and analog. 720p, 1080i and SD video can be converted to Standard Definition digital and analog. Q-Down-A 3G provides three video outputs which can be configured in flexible ways, with HD outputs selectable as mixtures of digital HD, RGB and YUV, and Standard Definition outputs selectable as mixtures of SDI, composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB. Q-Down-A 3G additionally provides up to two reclocked loop-throughs of the 3Gb/s, HD or SD input, along with another six input loop-throughs if a DA6 top board is fitted.

Using Crystal Vision’s propriety processing, Q-Down-A 3G provides a unique level of image quality in its price range – avoiding aliasing while retaining picture sharpness. It can pass four groups of audio, de-embedding them and converting them to the appropriate format before re-embedding them. Q-Down-A 3G’s short processing delay eliminates the need to compensate audio or other signals for the video delay, keeping everything in sync and making a system design much simpler. For those who want to match other equipment delays in the system there are three fixed video delay settings as well as a fully flexible variable video delay of up to one video frame, adjustable in one line steps. Q-Down-A 3G includes the ability to deal with any 3Gb/s or HD to SD aspect ratio conversion requirements, while it is also possible to select the output aspect ratio according to the SMPTE 2016 AFD data embedded in the input video, or to insert SMPTE 2016 or WSS into the output for aspect ratio correction by downstream equipment. The Q-Down-AT 3G version also includes special features for the successful down conversion of material containing timecode and closed captions.

TANDEM 3G is the first single board solution providing a combined embedder and de-embedder for four groups of audio and is ideal for applications requiring both embedding and de-embedding at the same time, or for those engineers that want just one device that can be used as both an embedder or de-embedder as required. Bi-directional digital audio connections on the board can be configured in stereo pairs as AES inputs or AES outputs or any mixture of the two, allowing the embedding or de-embedding of up to eight AES at the same time and in any combination.

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, while an optional audio delay of 80ms will compensate for any video processing and makes it easy to match all the signals. Any of the AES audio can be modified, with each mono audio channel offering individual gain control and stereo to mono conversion. Ideal for Dolby E users, TANDEM 3G’s extensive Dolby E handling includes embedding and de-embedding of Dolby E, Dolby E positioning and a switchable one or two frames video delay which is useful for matching Dolby E delays. TANDEM 3G also includes a video proc-amp for picture optimization, with adjustment of the video gain, black level and independent YUV gains.

Designed to simplify system designs and suitable for all embedding, de-embedding and timing requirements, SYNNER-E 3G combines a video synchronizer, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder, audio processor and video proc-amp with special features for the flexible processing of Dolby E – all on one board. SYNNER-E 3G can both synchronize incoming video signals which are not locked to the local reference and compensate for timing delays within the video system. The acclaimed synchronizing features include full horizontal and vertical timing adjustment, cross-locking and fast locking after an upstream switch to avoid picture disturbance. Also included is a video proc-amp for picture optimization. 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 between all four groups. The internal audio delay tracks the video delay, running the audio fast or slow to ensure the video and linear audio stay correctly timed and to avoid lip sync errors.

SYNNER-E 3G provides unmatched functionality for Dolby E users and will synchronize video containing Dolby E, standard audio or a mixture of the two – allowing a mixture of Dolby E and standard AES within a single audio group by separating the Dolby E and standard audio and synchronizing both types in the appropriate way before re-embedding the audio. The video and linear 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 to to ensure the guardband is in exactly the right place. SYNNER-E 3G also offers powerful audio processing capabilities for the linear audio, including individual gain control, channel muting and stereo to mono conversion.

Crystal Vision is also very well-known for its keying products and will be showing its Safire chroma keyers along with the MultiLogo logo keyer which is the most feature-packed, space-saving and easy-to-use modular solution to station branding, with its three layers of keying and the ability to store up to 500 logos.

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.