Miranda Minimizes Crawford Card Count

Donald Rodd
Crawford Satellite Services has one of the largest broadcast facilities in the United States and provides turnkey broadcasting solutions around the globe. We originate more than 100 cable/TV networks and perform ad insertions for more than 100 additional channels. Crawford services include full-time HD/SD network origination and disaster recovery, as well as centralcasting, satellite and fiber transmissions, online data services and streaming media/Webcasting. We also provide transportable earth stations, production uplink trucks and more.


The buildout and design for every channel that comes to Crawford varies in scope—each has its own diverse requirements. One of our recent endeavors included the launch of a regional, multichannel sports network. The key requirement was in matching a client workflow that involved complex audio signal flows. Each channel might require three or four different audio signals at any time. As these would be coming from different remote production trucks, the signals could be in many different formats and levels.

After reviewing several possible products to use in this application, Miranda was selected as the best fit. We were very impressed with Miranda's signal processing system, Densité, as it allows a wide mixture of different functions and formats to be slotted into any Densité chassis, which accommodates up to 20 cards in a 2-RU frame.

For the signal processing part of the project, we selected Miranda's XVP-1801 up/down/cross converter, which features AFD for automated aspect ratio control along with two DAP-1781 eight-channel digital audio processors. Together, they meet several of the complex audio processing needs for our application, including decoding Dolby E, upmixing to 5.1 and re-encoding to AC3. Additionally, the cards have an optional compressor/limiter functionality for correcting varying loudness levels, and which can be switched in if needed when we encode the PCM audio to Dolby Digital, with all signals timed and aligned.

The combination of Miranda's XVP-1801 and DAP-1781 modular cards has saved us time and space, while making control and changes much simpler. Traditionally, performing these functions would require the use of an HD demux, audio processor, Dolby E decoder, Dolby digital encoder, video delay card and embedder. This would require multiple rack spaces, controllers or software products for all these devices, not to mention the ability to time all video and audio signals.

Other Densité modules that we're using in our system include HCO-1801 auto-changeover cards for local and remote signal switching and the IRD-3801 card for decoding and monitoring remote signal returns.


Our equipment decision was based on the huge selection of modules and essential functionally that Miranda's Densité line offers, along with its strong audio processing capabilities, such as audio upmixing, loudness measurement, and Dolby decoding and encoding to meet our future requirements. We were able to choose exactly what we needed for both fully optimizing our system and reducing audio processing complexity.

The functionality and flexibility of the XVP/DAP configuration worked out so well that we've chosen the next-generation XVP-3901 for subsequent projects. It's a 3 gig-capable unit that combines the capabilities and features of the XVP-1801 and two DAP-1781 into a single card, giving us even greater frame density and flexibility.

Donald Rodd is vice president of engineering and technical operations at Crawford Communications and he has been with the company since 1999. Previously, he worked for the U.S. Navy and NATO as a satellite communications engineer. He may be contacted atdrodd@crawford.com.

For additional information, contact Miranda at 760-846-3203 or visitwww.miranda.com