Big Switch At Echolab

“Everything we have at our booth this year is new; this is not your father’s Echolab,” said Nigel Spratling, who was named president of the company last year.

The company, a provider of professional video production switchers and broadcast tools, “has had some 14,000 customers over the past 30 years and became somewhat staid and conservative in its product lineup,” Spratling said. “But there is tremendous growth potential in the market today, and we wanted to address that with new products with enhanced capabilities that meet the needs of our customers at an affordable price.”

Echolab has made several announcements over the past few months, heralding its Overture series of switchers; MultiPlayMD replay system; MegaKeyMD clip player, mixer and keyer; and Conductor control integration system.

The four-part Overture switcher line includes the Overture1 (1 M/E) and Overture2 (2 M/E), available in standard- and multi-definition models. They combine internal conversion and synchronization with powerful key layering and special effects. In addition to four M/E keys and two downstream keyers, the Overture family features Echolab’s unique Stinger and SuperSource keys that make it easy to achieve expert transitions.

Overture switchers accept up to 32 multiformat analog and digital signals and provide as many as 16 multiformat outputs. Internal frame synchronization helps to ensure the quality of effects, and integrated up/cross conversion within MD models streamlines switching of video in multiple formats.

During the NAB Show, Echolab is making a special offer to existing users of its Opera series production switchers to upgrade to a new SD Overture model.

The MultiPlayMD is a multidefinition, multichannel instant-replay system that provides continuous recording of up to 32 channels of SD or HD content. Working with MultiPlayMD, operators can switch instantly between live, play and record functions, with instant synchronous playback available on all channels.

Asked if the MultiPlayMD would be compatible with third-party systems, Spratling said with a smile, “It’s quite new and we have not made that decision yet. We may want to keep it for ourselves.”

The MegaKeyMD iclip player, mixer and keyer can serve as a networked storage device for animated graphics and video clips.

The Conductor control integration system is a touchscreen computer that automates complex tasks and program elements to support fast, accurate and creative production of the best programs possible.

Internal software tools offer the operator total confidence while on air. In preproduction mode, Conductor allows the operator to configure the switcher, create complex sequences and assign functions such as M/E presets to soft buttons.

In on-air mode, Conductor becomes an extension of the control panel; a touchscreen interface with soft buttons that can execute sequences, recall M/E presets and control third-party devices. ©2008 NAB