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CRYSTAL VISION SHOWS CLEAN SWITCH AND LATEST UP AND DOWN CONVERTERS AT NAB2011 (BOOTH N1520)

At NAB2011 Crystal Vision will be showing its latest range of interface products, which offer more features than ever before. Products on Booth N1520 will include a 2 x 2 switch which combines clean with intelligent switching, two new versions of its dual-output up/down/cross converter, an upgraded down converter with enhanced GPI functionality, a colour corrector for 25 video different standards and an aspect ratio converter ideal for live use – along with Crystal Vision’s project-winning four group embedder/de-embedder and multi-functional synchroniser which are now shipping.

Making its world debut at NAB will be Safe Switch 3G, which provides clean and intelligent 2 x 2 switching between two 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources and which was developed following a request from a broadcaster who could not find a clean switch with the features and high performance they required. The clean switching comes from the framestore synchroniser on each input and the ability to connect it to an external analogue reference, which means that Safe Switch 3G can correct for any timing difference (big or small) between the two inputs resulting in no disruption to the output picture when a switch takes place. Ideal for planned maintenance switches to manually re-route a good signal around broken equipment, it can also be used as an intelligent emergency transmission switch by engineers who do not want to restrict themselves to timed inputs, with the option of selecting from 20 different fault conditions to automatically trigger the switch – including incorrect input video standard, active video black or frozen, EDH errors, a specified audio group missing and audio silence in a selected group. Any number of fault conditions can be chosen and Safe Switch 3G will switch away from an error on the user-selected input only if the other input is free of that fault, while should both inputs have different alarms set it will intelligently work to the most significant feature to decide which feed to select. Additionally, two fault indications with their own list of chosen parameters can be set, allowing very flexible monitoring. Safe Switch 3G has exceptional GPIs flexibility, with up to 12 bi-directional GPIs which can be configured as either GPI inputs or GPI outputs, giving the engineer real flexibility when setting up buttons and lights for GPI control and monitoring of alarm conditions. Shipping in April, Smart Switch 3G also includes relay bypass protection on power failure or board removal for an extra layer of system security.

Crystal Vision will be introducing two new versions of Up-Down 3G at NAB, meaning this project-winning up/down/cross converter is now available in five versions to suit all applications and budgets. Ideal for broadcast engineers that need to easily operate in HD and SD at the same time, Up-Down 3G allows flexible up, down and cross conversions between 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources and is unusual in that it can perform two conversions simultaneously – putting out co-timed dual outputs that remain constant in format (as either 3G/HD or SD), even if the input changes. With an output picture quality that has led it to be specified by some broadcasters as their mandatory up/down/cross converter, other features include four group audio handling, aspect ratio conversion including AFD insertion and reading, and optional integrated fibre input/output connectivity. The two new versions are Up-Down-AT 3G and Up-Down-ATX 3G which provide extra data handling features ideal for playout applications, with conversion of timecode between SD DVITC and HD ATC and audio routing by stereo channel. Up-Down-ATX 3G can additionally carry teletext and subtitle information across different definitions, and when up converting will take the teletext data out of the analogue-style coded signal and put the same data in the OP-47 data stream it creates.

Crystal Vision will also be showing the latest versions from its best-selling Q-Down range of down converters. Q-Down-A 3G has been upgraded to become Q-Down-AG 3G, with the new features including enhanced GPI flexibility for those that want to connect it to control switches or drive light bulbs (with the addition of two bi-directional GPIs which are selectable as either preset-recalling GPI inputs or fault-reporting GPI outputs), and the ability to cope with both analogue and digital SD blanking widths which ensures that the picture is always the right shape. Using Crystal Vision’s proprietary processing which gives it a unique level of image quality in its price range, this short-delay broadcast down converter and distribution amplifier works with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources and gives out flexible combinations of either HD analogue and digital or SD analogue and digital, along with up to eight reclocked input loop-throughs. Other features include four group audio handling, aspect ratio conversion with AFD reading and insertion, conversion of timecode and closed captions, and optional integrated fibre input/output connectivity.

Crystal Vision’s latest embedded audio products are now shipping, featuring Crystal Vision’s most advanced audio technology yet. TANDEM 3G is already Crystal Vision’s fastest selling embedder/de-embedder module to date, as a result of being the first single board solution to provide a combined embedder and de-embedder for four groups of audio with its on-board bi-directional digital audio connections configurable as AES inputs or AES outputs, as well as its ability to work with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources and the space-saving option of integrated fibre input or output connectivity. The multi-functional SYNNER-E 3G has also been selected for a large number of major broadcast industry projects, thanks to its ability to simplify system designs: on one 100mm x 266mm module it combines a video synchroniser, tracking audio delay, embedder, de-embedder, audio processor and video proc-amp, and includes four group audio handling, special features for the flexible processing of Dolby E and the option of integrated fibre input/output connectivity.

Making its Las Vegas debut will be a modular colour corrector and legaliser for 25 different video standards. CoCo 3G is ideal for any whole picture colour correction or legalising applications: not only does it support the 50Hz and 59.94Hz standards for 3Gb/s, HD and SD, it also supports the 23.98, 24 and 25 frames per second progressive video standards for film to HD video transfers. CoCo 3G offers a large number of adjustments in both the RGB and YUV colour spaces, including independent gain, independent lift, independent gamma, overall lift and gain, hue phase adjustment and adjustable horizontal and vertical cropping. Among the numerous clever features there is advanced correction for gamut errors to achieve a legal and natural-looking picture, with CoCo 3G changing any YUV colours that are illegal in RGB to be valid in RGB by reducing the colour saturation without changing the hue. The control options include a dedicated 1U control panel ideal for live use, while the engineer can also opt for relay bypass protection and integrated fibre input/output connectivity if required.

Crystal Vision has also released a new product for Standard Definition users who need to change the aspect ratio of their signals. With an excellent output picture quality thanks to motion adaptive video de-interlacing, ARC-20MC is a 10 bit aspect ratio converter ideal for live use: it can switch instantly and cleanly between two conversions in a single frame blanking period, allowing ‘on air’ changes of the aspect ratio. ARC-20MC is well suited to following AFD data for automatic switching of the aspect ratio and can dynamically select the best conversion based on the Video index, WSS or SMPTE 2016 data in the incoming video. Video index, WSS and SMPTE 2016 can also be inserted into the output video for use by downstream equipment. With time-saving presets for the six commonly used conversions between 4:3 and 16:9, it also allows the user to customise both the size and position of the picture. The ARC-20MC provides the most outputs Crystal Vision has ever featured on one of its aspect ratio converters, with five outputs of the converted signal along with six reclocked input loop-throughs if a DA6 top board is fitted, while other features include signal probe functionality, relay bypass protection and optional integrated fibre input or output connectivity.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers, picture storage modules and a full range of interface equipment including converters, decoders, encoders, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.

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