For-A forays into HD

Switchers, multi-view recorder, virtual studio will debut

For-A Corp. of America will introduce its Hanabi line of production switchers at NAB, with six versions designed to meet both standard-definition and high-definition demands.

According to Hiro Tanoue, sales manager, eastern region and Central/South America, the main unit can fit in only 3 rackunits of space, making the switchers suitable for ENG and broadcast-van applications.

The HD version, which is available with 16, 24, or 28 inputs and can handle 720p or 1080i, is the company's first HD production switcher. The standard-definition versions, which start at less than $70,000, are also available with 16, 24 and 28 inputs. Both versions include four still stores and have optional DVE capabilities.

"The optional DVE includes two channels of 3-D DVE per card, and up to two cards can be installed in each switcher," says Tanoue. In the HD version, each DVE card can handle one 3-D DVE.

The switchers can't mix HD and SD, Tanoue adds, but an upgrade will be available for those who purchase the SD version today but want to transition to HD.

Also new from the company is a multi-view disk recorder that can record and monitor as many as 16 channels of content. The MVR-160, for less than $10,000, includes two 80-GB hard drives. One can be used for continuous recording; the other, for archive needs. All 16 channels can be viewed at once, providing easy confirmation of what content has been played to air.

The DSK-50 portable digital keyer with multiple interface controls will also make its NAB debut. The half-rack unit has two serial digital component inputs and two serial digital component outputs.

Working with Spain-based Brainstorm, For-A offers three levels of virtual studios, from the Digiwarp-EX for about $200,000 to Brainstorm Estudio for about $500,000. Mid-priced Digistorm can be used for real-time animation or virtual-billboard-type functions. It can run on either Linux or Windows NT workstations.