At IBC 2012 Crystal Vision will be unveiling its first new chroma keyer for five years on Stand 2.B11 along with the latest multi-functional interface products designed for embedding, synchronizing and routing 3Gb/s, HD and SD signals and the company’s first venture into Dolby E decoding with a very neat solution.
Crystal Vision will be previewing its new real-time chroma keyer, Safire 3, at IBC – with a significant increase in performance and features making it ideal for all live virtual productions, from studio to sport. Working with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources, Safire 3 is suitable for the most demanding applications and joins the existing Safire HD 2 and Safire chroma keyers to become the new top of the range product. The enhanced chroma keying uses an extremely sophisticated algorithm, giving excellent results with minimal sensitivity to camera noise. New key processing features add even more realism to the key, with shaping and softening of edges, key noise reduction, color spill processing and two-dimensional compensation for uneven illumination of the backdrop with separate corrections for linear and radial lighting problems. Crystal Vision chroma keyers have always been known as the easiest to set up, and Safire 3 brings an improved auto-setup which can use multiple points on the backdrop as well as on the foreground object – such as the presenter – to set up the optimized processing.
Safire 3 includes functionality – color correction and video delay – previously provided by separate products and useful for aiding system integration. Foreground color correction enables adjustment of the foreground after the key has been extracted but before it is combined with the background, allowing the look of the foreground to be matched to the background to create a natural-looking composite. Also included is foreground delay adjustment up to ten frames, ideal for offsetting the delay caused by the graphics generators, while correct timing is ensured by input synchronizers and an analog reference. Safire 3 maintains the special features which make it ideal for inserting graphics on to sporting surfaces during live events. Safire 3 continues to form part of a space-saving modular system, with this single height 100mm x 266mm module allowing up to 12 chroma keyers in 2U alongside any other interface products. Inputs and outputs are accessed by using the RM50 frame rear module. Due for release in October and with demonstrations available at IBC, Safire 3 will be introduced with control from the Statesman PC control software, with a dedicated control panel available towards the end of 2012.
Crystal Vision launches its most powerful audio embedder/de-embedder to date with TANDEM 310 – a combined embedder and de-embedder for 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources with the ability to embed and de-embed a mixture of up to four groups of AES and two groups of analog audio at the same time. TANDEM 310 is Crystal Vision’s first embedder able to decode Dolby E as well as the company’s first 3Gb/s-capable embedder for analog audio – making it ideal for studios where microphones make analog audio popular. TANDEM 310 embeds and de-embeds external audio by fitting up to two audio piggybacks to the main board. The HD-AIP2 piggyback is used for embedding two analog stereo pairs or four mono channels, the HD-AOP2 for de-embedding two analog stereo pairs or four mono channels and the DIOP4 for embedding or de-embedding four AES stereo pairs, with four bi-directional AES ports available on each piggyback and the engineer able to select whether to embed or de-embed each channel independently. Analog and digital piggybacks can be mixed to create a hybrid system – ideal for those using analog microphones with digital audio mixers. Shipping in August, other features include full audio routing, audio and video delays, audio and video processing and integrated fiber input/output connectivity.
TANDEM 310 can be fitted with the new DBE-D Dolby decoder top board, allowing a Dolby E signal in the embedded video input (or from an input piggyback) to be decoded and either output as analog or AES audio (via an appropriate piggyback) or re-embedded. The DBE-D includes a stereo down mix, which mixes the multiple audio channels within the 5.1 surround sound down to a single stereo pair for easier monitoring. The DBE-D is perfect for those embedded audio applications where the audio within the Dolby E stream needs to be processed in some way, or where the Dolby E needs to be decoded before transmission.
Crystal Vision will be launching a second new embedder/de-embedder at IBC, designed for price-sensitive or space-sensitive applications. The dual channel TANDEM 320 works with 3Gb/s, HD and SD and provides economical embedding and de-embedding for one group of analog audio or two groups of AES per channel, while allowing 24 channels of embedding or de-embedding to fit in 2U. Using the HD-AIP2, HD-AOP2 and DIOP4 audio piggybacks, the features include audio routing, audio and video delays and audio and video processing.
SYNNER 310 combines multiple functions on one board to save engineers money and rack space as well as simplify system designs. SYNNER 310 is a video synchronizer, tracking audio delay and embedder/de-embedder for 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources and up to two groups of analog and four groups of digital audio, with the additional ability to decode Dolby E. SYNNER 310 can both synchronize incoming video signals which are not locked to the local reference and compensate for timing delays within the video system, and includes cross-locking, full horizontal and vertical timing adjustment and ten frames of video delay for matching any big system delays. The internal audio delay tracks the video delay, running the audio fast or slow to ensure the video and linear audio stay correctly timed and to avoid lip sync errors. SYNNER 310 can embed and de-embed both analog and digital audio, using the HD-AIP2 and HD-AOP2 piggybacks for embedding and de-embedding analog audio and the bi-directional DIOP4 for embedding and de-embedding AES.
Ideal for Dolby E users, SYNNER 310 can synchronize video containing a mixture of Dolby E and linear AES in the same audio group, includes guardband alignment and can also be used to decode Dolby E by fitting the DBE-D Dolby decoder top board, which allows a Dolby E signal in the embedded video input (or from an input piggyback) to be decoded and either output as analog or AES audio (via an appropriate piggyback) or re-embedded. Shipping in August, other features include full audio routing, flexible audio delays, audio and video processing and integrated fiber input/output connectivity.
IBC also sees new features added to the Safe Switch 3G fail-safe 2 x 2 routing switch, which uses a full framestore synchronizer on each input and loss of reference protection to guarantee a clean switch and which can be used either for planned maintenance switches or as an intelligent emergency transmission switch. Safe Switch 3G can now cope with signal path delays of +/-25 frames between the two inputs. The backup feed will often be routed through less processing equipment and therefore arrive several frames earlier than the main input and, with this new feature, input timing differences greater than one frame can be corrected by delaying the earliest arriving input by up to 25 frames in one frame steps. Input timing differences up to one frame will continue to be automatically corrected by the existing on-board framestore synchronizers. The second customer-requested new feature means that Safe Switch 3G can now choose from 17 different fault conditions to automatically trigger a switch. It can now be set to switch on frozen Ancillary Timecode within the video stream, switching either immediately or after a delay of up to 120 seconds.
Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers, picture storage modules and a full range of interface equipment including converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.