Crystal Vision launches new frame system for SDI, IP and 4K at IBC 2015 (Stand 2.B11)

At IBC 2015 Crystal Vision will be unveiling the new Vision frame system: a forward-looking platform suitable for IP and 4K that additionally supports adapted variants of the existing SDI video and audio products.

Both the Vision 3 3RU frame and the initial 18 cards from the Vision product range will be launched on Stand 2.B11, including chroma and linear keyers, up and down converters, synchronizers, embedders, routing switches, color correctors, video and audio delays and audio converters that all benefit from features only available in the Vision frame – including higher packing density, extra outputs and dual syncs distributed from the frame. Crystal Vision will additionally be discussing its video over IP solutions for the Vision 3 frame, with the company's conversion expertise resulting in the optimum products for converting between SDI and IP signals. For those who need the biggest range of modules and a choice of frame sizes, the Indigo frame system has been enhanced with the new ability to back up and restore settings, with its 1RU frame also providing perfect housing for the new Safire 3 Xpress real-time chroma keyer.

IBC will mark the world debut of Crystal Vision’s Vision 3 frame, which makes the company ready now for the coming technologies such as IP and 4K. In many ways the Vision frame is similar to the Indigo frame, taking the numerous strengths of the well-established Indigo system – such as the ability to house different signals together, a choice of outputs via changeable rear modules and excellent cooling – and extending them further. Immediate benefits of the Vision frame system include a very high packing density with the ability to house 20 cards in 3RU, extra outputs providing more signals to use and cutting down on the requirement for DAs and dual syncs distributed from the frame to every card for easier wiring and redundant operation. Also of benefit are two 1Gb/s Ethernet connections to the outside world for control and file transfer (including facilitating the updating of card software) and powerful remote backup and restore of all card settings and presets for added system security. Features that will benefit future products include the frame’s ability to be used with higher bandwidth signals including 4K and 10Gb/s IP, large storage on the frame CPU along with fast internal communications for easy transfer of big files (perfect for sophisticated graphics-based products), and increased power availability allowing more functionality on each card.

Keying has always been one of Crystal Vision's real strengths, and IBC will see the release of three keying products in the Vision range, which work with 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources and benefit from extra main and auxiliary outputs. The Safire 3-VF and Safire 3-VF Xpress real-time chroma keyers are designed for live applications – with the top-end Safire 3-VF version including extra features such as built-in color correction and video delay, ideal for demanding virtual studios. The LKEY-VF linear keyer is designed for the simple keying of one graphic over video streams and includes features such as a framestore synchronizer on each input, masks with adjustable edge softness and fades.

Crystal Vision will also be launching ten video interface products from the Vision range – again all working with 3Gb/s, HD and SD and benefitting from extra outputs. Leading broadcasters have standardized on the picture quality of the company’s up and down converters, and IBC will see four new up/down/cross converters – UP-DOWN-A-VF, UP-DOWN-ATX-VF, UP-DOWN-AS-VF and UP-DOWN-ATXS-VF – each offering a different set of features for different applications and budgets, including AFD insertion and reading, teletext handling and downstream video synchronizers.

The SAFE-SWITCH-VF fail-safe routing switch guarantees a disruption-free output picture with a full framestore synchronizer on each input, while there will be two video synchronizers on show: SYN-A-VF which is designed to synchronize embedded audio sources timed to a different reference or correct any processing delays, and the multi-functional SYNNER-VF which simplifies system designs by combining a synchronizer, tracking audio delay and embedder/de-embedder for AES and analog audio on one card.

Crystal Vision is well known for its video delay expertise, with VIVID-VF providing approximately five seconds of delay in SD, one second in HD and half a second in 3Gb/s, and VIVID10S-VF – which also includes a framestore synchronizer – providing around 40 seconds of delay in SD, ten seconds in HD and five seconds in 3Gb/s. COCO-VF is a whole picture color corrector and legalizer for 25 different video standards and features numerous RGB and YUV adjustments including gamma as well as advanced correction for gamut errors.

The final five cards in the initial Vision range are all audio interface products. For embedded audio there is the TANDEM10-VF embedder/de-embedder for AES and analog audio which includes audio and video processing and flexible delay compensation and the TANDEM20-VF dual channel embedder/de-embedder for space sensitive or price sensitive applications. The discrete audio range includes the ADP-VF audio delay and processor for analog or digital audio (with up to 400ms of user adjustable delay), the DACA20-VF digital to analog audio converter and the ADCA20-VF analog to digital audio converter.

Crystal Vision will be introducing gateway and firewall products to help broadcasters make the transition to an IP live video infrastructure. Offering wide protocol support and fitting in the Vision 3 frame, the SDI6-IP-VF, IP-SDI6-VF and IP-IP-VF are the start of a range of network products from Crystal Vision. The products all have a fully functioning software-based IP stack providing support for ARP, IEEE802.1g (VLAN), IGMP (Multicasting), ICMP and ping. Ping response can be switched off to aid security. Multiple IP addresses can be used for each connection to allow access to multiple VLANs from the same physical connection. An IP-only version of this product (the IP-IP-VF) allows changing of the IP addresses and other network settings to provide firewall capability. As well as SMPTE 2022-6 there is full support of SMPTE 2022-5 Forward Error Correction (FEC) with adjustable parameters and SMPTE 2022-7 seamless switching allowing IP redundancy. In the video world there is status reporting of video validity, standard, black, frozen video or audio silence. There are video synchronizers on every stream, together with up to ten frames of delay.

Indigo will continue to be Crystal Vision's main frame system over the next year, with the biggest range of boards and a choice of three frame sizes, and IBC sees the introduction of a new frame feature providing enhanced security and convenience. Especially useful for big systems, the new backup and restore of settings feature makes it easy to duplicate installations, put replacement boards into the correct state and return an installation to a recorded state. When a change is made to the live frame settings these changes will be automatically backed up to the frame CPU and can also be copied to a file on a PC, with the option of restoring settings either manually or automatically.

Broadcast engineers often prefer to house chroma keyers in a 1RU frame, making the Indigo version of the Safire 3 Xpress a popular new addition to the range. Designed to be an affordable higher quality alternative to using a studio switcher, Safire 3 Xpress is ideal for weather, news bureaus and other single static camera 3Gb/s, HD or SD live applications that require high quality chroma keying combined with easy control. Features include tools to eliminate key noise and transparency, tune the backdrop key colour, adjust the variation around the key color, manage color spill, enhance edges, increase or reduce shadows and compensate for uneven studio lighting – along with flexible masks, fades and automatic correction of any timing errors with a frame synchronizer on each input.

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