Crystal Vision releases fiber transmitter and receiver for its new frame system

Crystal Vision has released a fiber optic transmitter and receiver for its new Vision frame system. The FTX-VF dual channel fiber transmitter and FRX-VF dual channel fiber receiver have been designed to transmit and receive 3Gb/s, HD and SD signals over large distances. Meeting the SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul specification, they can be used with single-mode or multi-mode fiber and are perfect for moving signals around in big installations. With up to 20 space-saving cards (40 channels) fitting in 3RU, the useful features include full DVB-ASI compatibility and the ability to fit CWDM lasers – along with multiple outputs and loop-throughs which reduce the need for additional distribution amplifiers.

The FTX-VF and FRX-VF are ideal for use together, but can be used with alternative transmitters and receivers. The reclocking FTX-VF has two independent 3Gb/s, HD or SD inputs, each with one optical output. It can transmit a serial digital signal down a fiber optic cable to the FRX-VF receiver, which offers two optical inputs and two reclocked 3Gb/s, HD or SD outputs per channel – meaning it doubles as a DA and reduces the need, rack space and cost of having distribution amplifiers after the receiver. All outputs on the FRX-VF are DVB-ASI compatible. Both cards meet the SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul specification, allowing operation with both single-mode and multi-mode fiber. This makes them suitable for a wide range of applications – from moving signals around in large installations to passing signals between Outside Broadcast vehicles.

The FTX-VF includes many useful features. This includes a non-hazardous Class 1 laser that will automatically switch off if there is no video input – facilitating system debugging and prolonging laser life. The laser can also be shut down manually. Helpful warnings are given when the laser bias current is above the threshold indicating imminent failure, and also when the laser is producing low output power and should be replaced immediately. Specially modified laser modules allow the FTX-VF to cope successfully with pathological signals – with this challenging test pattern useful for testing a serial link.The FTX-VF also includes two input loop-throughs per channel which can be used to distribute the input video to equipment such as a picture monitor, or alternatively for system checking.

The standard FTX-VF uses a wideband 1310nm laser, but Crystal Vision can alternatively provide narrowband CWDM lasers on request – allowing the broadcaster to get multiple signals through one fiber by using a different wavelength of light for each signal and saving them money and rack space. The output wavelengths are defined by the ITU and are available in ten combinations. By fitting the appropriate CWDM laser and using an external combiner, the engineer can take the output signal from the FTX-VF and combine it with signals from other sources down one fiber.

Explained Crystal Vision's Managing Director, Philip Scofield: "Fiber connectivity is becoming more popular for broadcasters. The initial reason for using fiber was because it allows a greater range of connection. There is also the advantage that fiber is far less bulky than coaxial cable. It is now being realised how putting in fibers has a great advantage for future proofing the installation. The fibers themselves can take any signal, so the equipment at each end can be upgraded to allow for future use, whether it is UHD or video over IP – unlike cables which are different depending on the application. Using the FTX-VF and FRX-VF is the ideal way to allow the best mix of cable and fiber in any SDI installation."

The flexible choice of control and monitoring options for the FTX-VF and FRX-VF include the integrated control panel on the Vision frame, the VisionPanel remote control panel, SNMP and the VisionWeb Control web browser software. On the FTX-VF there is remote control of output enable or disable for channels 1 and 2, as well as remote monitoring of input present, signal type and laser level and bias for both channels. The FRX-VF has remote monitoring of input present, received power and optical input power level for each channel – allowing the engineer to check that light is being passed effectively.

Shipping now, the FTX-VF and FRX-VF are space-saving 3.7 inches x 13 inches cards. With up to 20 cards (40 channels) fitting in the 3RU Vision 3 frame, the FTX-VF and FRX-VF can be housed alongside any other interface or IP cards from the Vision range which makes it very easy to transmit signals to or receive signals from them.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Visionprovides a full range of interface and keyers and helps people transition through a range of technologies – from SD to HD and from HD to IP.