The Right Route at NAB
Manufacturers offer new options for HDTV
By Ken Kerschbaumer -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/23/2003 7:00:00 PM
Manufacturers of traditional video routing switchers continue to advance the technology, with a variety of routers that occupy smaller footprints as well as routers designed for HDTV demands.
Chyron will head to NAB with its HALO router that is capable of HD or SD in 16x16 or 32x32 configurations and is fully compatible with the entire Pro-Bel router range. It also has an editable database that permits the control ports to be configured either as panel ports, which support a mixture of 32 control panels and under-monitor displays, or as remote-control ports.
Also from Chyron is Sirius 256, a 256x256 version of the Sirius router. It incorporates built-in analog and digital signal conversion for both video and audio, enabling different formats to be mixed and matched within the same frame.
And Procion 2, a Windows XP application, allows customized control interfaces to be created with the use of an object-oriented XML file format. It integrates fully with Chyron's existing router-control systems, including Aurora, and can work with multi-matrix systems and multi-level associations and can handle route protect and inhibits. It also integrates with COSMOS, Chyron's system configuration and monitoring system, and enables router control and monitoring-mimic soft-panels to be quickly built.
Leitch will introduce the Integrator Gold wideband multi-rate router, in standard-definition digital and wideband digital multi-rate formats. It's expandable from 8x8 to 128x128 (in multiples of 8x8) and requires an 8RU chassis for the 128x128 size. It can handle signals from 30 Mb/s to 1.485 Gb/s.
Pesa Switching will debut a small-scale HD version of Ocelot and an HD-to-SDI output-downconverter option card for Cheetah. The Ocelot HD router is designed for mobile-truck as well as field or studio applications and is capable of multi-format digital (SDI and HD-SDI) distribution in 8x8, 16x8 and 16x16 configurations. It can handle bit rates from 3 Mb/s to 1.5 Gb/s and reclocks at both SMPTE 259M and 292M rates. Also available is an Ocelot AES/EBU digital audio card in both 75-Ohm and 110-Ohm versions.
The new HD-to-SDI output downconverter card for Cheetah is available as a piggy-back option. It was developed to downconvert HD-SDI input signals to SDI outputs, and each output can be configured for either 16:9 or 4:3 format. Within 4:3 output, either letterbox or cropping can be chosen.
Quartz is introducing the Q256-DA/AA, a multi-format audio router with soft switching, wild shuffling and sample-rate conversion. It uses soft switching technology to predict and smooth out audio transitions to guarantee a "click-free" switch. The router also allows individual audio channels within an AES pair to be selected as distinct inputs, combined with any other channel and routed to any output as a new AES pair. Sample-rate converters, which are located on the input fins, convert the input audio of 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz and 96 kHz to the chosen standard of 48 kHz or 96 kHz (audio signals can also be routed through the router untouched for passing such signals as Dolby E).
The Q256-DA/AA multi-format audio router can be scaled from 32x32 up to a 128x128 in a single 8U frame, up to 256x256 in a single 16U frame and up to 1024x1024 with expansion frames.
On the video side, the Q256-SV/HD multi-format video router simultaneously supports both serial digital and high-definition video inputs and outputs. It scales in size in the same configurations as its audio counterpart, and input and output expansion is completely internal so fan out or combining frames is never required.
Also from Quartz is a new data router that can route control data signals between devices, such as VTRs and video servers (controlled devices) and edit controllers or automation systems (controlling devices). The Quartz Q32-PR data router provides port-to-port routing for up to 32 devices and supports both RS422 and RS232 or a mixture without the need for recabling, allowing devices to be routed together regardless of their serial-port configuration. The router switches four wire signals, a transmitter pair and a receiver pair, through the matrix.
Thomson is offering the new Apex digital audio router, with a 256x256 matrix in a rack frame only 11RU high (and expandable up to 1280x1280 in 55RU). It is also only 11 inches deep, making it suitable for production vehicles and other production environments where space is at a premium. It can handle any synchronous or asynchronous data rate between 30 and 100 kHz and also multiple digital audio formats in the same frame.
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