Crystal Vision has further improved the operation of its Safire 3 real-time chroma keyer in a live situation following significant changes to the VisionPanel universal control panel. VisionPanel is designed to operate up to 16 Crystal Vision Indigo or Vision frames, with its physical controls making it well suited to those products that need regular adjustment, such as Safire 3. As broadcasters search for increased efficiency, the VisionPanel enhancements all result in faster and easier operation, with various improvements made to the 3RU Ethernet control panel's touch screen, knobs and hard buttons following consultation with expert users who operate chroma keyers on a daily basis.
Benefitting from Crystal Vision's responsive technical support and five year warranty, the Safire 3 modular real-time chroma keyer is ideal for applications from weather to immersive virtual studios, with a simple intuitive workflow for setting up a key, support for resolutions from SD to 1080p and features such as lighting compensation, color correction and video delay to help solve common real world issues. With the competitively-priced Safire 3 currently enjoying its highest level of popularity to date, Crystal Vision chose to make the enhancements to VisionPanel at this time to make its chroma keyer even more attractive to those seeking the easiest workflow.
VisionPanel's touch screen improvements include making it more responsive, as well as increasing the size of the Home button to make it easier to press. The drop down menus on the touch screen have been replaced with a 'radio group' style control which allows faster operation – where it used to take two steps to select something, it now takes one. New navigation has also significantly quickened the workflow when moving between menus: it is no longer necessary to go via the home screen to change menus, as tabs for all the other menus within that menu group are now displayed.
VisionPanel's knob improvements include swapping the coarse and fine adjustment for easier operation: turning the knob now defaults to the more commonly-used faster speed adjustment. To get the less-used slow speed adjustment, the operator now needs to hold down the Shift hard button while turning the knob. There is also a useful new cal function, where pressing down on the knob defaults the value of the slider being adjusted.
VisionPanel's hard button improvements include reassignment of the right-hand hard buttons to get immediate access to some of the most frequently-used chroma keyer menus (Key Status and Gain and Spill) as well as to provide a chroma key on/off toggle. Changes have also been made to make it more obvious which hard button needs to be pressed to select a particular board: the button for the board currently being controlled is now lit bright, while the board list on the touch screen now shows the hard button number in addition to displaying the board name.
Explained Crystal Vision's Managing Director, Philip Scofield: "We listened to our customers who work with Safire 3 everyday and they have guided us with this latest upgrade. Anyone within their five year warranty can bring their existing systems to the latest standard with no charges for the new software and free advice on how to install and use it. A Crystal Vision purchase is the beginning of a long-term relationship."
The new features are all available now. Existing VisionPanel customers wishing to upgrade should contact the Crystal Vision support team to request VisionPanel software v1.6, Safire 3 software v1.9 and Indigo frame software v5.7.
VisionPanel is one of the most popular ways to control Safire 3, but other options are available. The free VisionWeb Control allows Safire 3 to be operated from a web browser running on any device which is connected to the same network – from PC to tablet and mobile phone. For those who like their control as simple as possible, GPIs can be used to recall presets, fade the keys up and down and switch the key on and off. Finally, control is also available from SNMP, allowing Safire 3 to be easily integrated into a third party control system, with SNMP traps available to alert the operator to a loss of video inputs or other fault conditions.
Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Vision provides 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.