Crystal Vision’s unique solution to picture squeezing

Crystal Vision's award-winning LKEY-SQZ is a unique product offering the highest quality picture squeeze and picture-in-picture effects combined with flexible keying – all in a low-cost modular product.

Working with 31 different video standards, this dedicated squeeze back keyer is ideal for any applications where the program needs to be resized or repositioned for another layer of video to be displayed – such as squeezing the end credits to preview the next program, squeezing a presenter to allow room for additional graphic material, or picture-in-picture type applications such
as news interviews. LKEY-SQZ was originally developed for a major broadcaster who required the highest quality picture squeeze and could find no alternative product already on the market.

LKEY-SQZ includes a simple DVE and can smoothly resize the main video both horizontally and vertically, reposition it on the screen and put it inside another input or colored border. Graphics or text generated by an external device can then be keyed on top of and around the squeezed picture. The video can transition back to full size or to another size or position as required.

LKEY-SQZ uses sub-pixel processing, an excellent de-interlacer and an advanced algorithm to ensure extremely smooth movement from one size to another. This is particularly important on moving text which can be very demanding, with LKEY-SQZ ensuring there is no distortion to the text during the picture squeeze.

There is a choice of key sources, using either an external key input or self-keying from the foreground video. Masks can be used to force areas of background or foreground video which may otherwise be hidden by the key layer, while key gain, offset and opacity controls allow the intensity of the key to be adjusted. Line synchronizers will correct incoming signals up to one line apart in timing, with the output video timed to either one of the inputs or to an external analog reference. Various fades are available: it is possible to fade the key, fade the squeeze on and off or fade the whole program to black.

Explained Crystal Vision's Managing Director, Philip Scofield: "LKEY-SQZ has filled a real gap in the market. Everyone was delighted that a modular keyer could squeeze a picture in a completely seamless way, whatever the picture content. It just does what is required and fills a common requirement. The complex motion compensated processing quietly guarantees the pictures look great!"

LKEY-SQZ can perform a sequence of operations (known as a 'scene') relative to a start signal using full timeline control of events – including squeeze position, size, rate of movement and key fade rate. LKEY-SQZ comes with eight built-in example scenes designed to provide a template for a common usage of the product. The scenes can be customized by the operator to meet the exact requirements of a particular application by editing the XML files using a simple text editor, with a dedicated Ethernet connect on the rear module making it easy to FTP the timeline XML files directly into the board. Scenes can be triggered using the VisionWeb web browser control or via GPI inputs.

LKEY-SQZ is a 4 x 10.5 inch module which fits in Crystal Vision's Indigo frames available in 2RU, 1RU and desk top box sizes, with up to six boards fitting in 2RU. Using the RM77 frame rear module to access the inputs and outputs, it also offers relay bypass protection of the squeeze video or picture-in-picture video.

Using a dedicated unit to provide a squeeze back or picture-in-picture effect results in the highest possible quality. LKEY-SQZ removes the need to use a full vision switcher to provide a squeeze back, and is also useful for those who have a switcher which does not include this squeeze back functionality. LKEY-SQZ is shipping now and joins Crystal Vision's successful family of keyers, including the Safire 3 and Safire 3 Xpress chroma keyersLKEY 3 linear keyer and MultiLogo logo keyers.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers and a full range of interface equipment including converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.