Crystal Vision’s unique solution to picture squeezing

Crystal Vision's award-winning LKEY-SQZ is a unique product offering the highest quality picture squeeze and picture-in-picture effects combined with flexible keying in a low-cost modular product.

Crystal Vision's award-winning LKEY-SQZ is a unique product offering the highest quality picture squeeze and picture-in-picture effects combined with flexible keying – all in a low-cost modular product.

Working with 31 different video standards, this dedicated squeeze back keyer is ideal for any applications where the program needs to be resized or repositioned for another layer of video to be displayed – such as squeezing the end credits to preview the next program, squeezing a presenter to allow room for additional graphic material, or picture-in-picture type applications such as news interviews. LKEY-SQZ was originally developed for a major broadcaster who required the highest quality picture squeeze and could find no alternative product already on the market.

LKEY-SQZ includes a simple DVE and can smoothly resize the main video both horizontally and vertically, reposition it on the screen and put it inside another input or colored border. Graphics or text generated by an external device can then be keyed on top of and around the squeezed picture. The video can transition back to full size or to another size or position as required. LKEY-SQZ uses sub-pixel processing, an excellent de-interlacer and an advanced algorithm to ensure extremely smooth movement from one size to another. This is particularly important on moving text which can be very demanding, with LKEY-SQZ ensuring there is no distortion to the text during the picture squeeze.

There is a choice of key sources, using either an external key input or self-keying from the foreground video. Masks can be used to force areas of background or foreground video which may otherwise be hidden by the key layer, while key gain, offset and opacity controls allow the intensity of the key to be adjusted. Line synchronizers will correct incoming signals up to one line apart in timing, with the output video timed to either one of the inputs or to an external analog reference. Various fades are available: it is possible to fade the key, fade the squeeze on and off or fade the whole program to black.

Explained Crystal Vision's Managing Director, Philip Scofield: "LKEY-SQZ has filled a real gap in the market. Everyone was delighted that a modular keyer could squeeze a picture in a completely seamless way, whatever the picture content. It just does what is required and fills a common requirement. The complex motion compensated processing quietly guarantees the pictures look great!"

LKEY-SQZ can perform a sequence of operations (known as a 'scene') relative to a start signal using full timeline control of events – including squeeze position, size, rate of movement and key fade rate. LKEY-SQZ comes with eight built-in example scenes designed to provide a template for a common usage of the product. The scenes can be customized by the operator to meet the exact requirements of a particular application by editing the XML files using a simple text editor, with a dedicated Ethernet connect on the rear module making it easy to FTP the timeline XML files directly into the board. Scenes can be triggered using the VisionWeb web browser control or via GPI inputs.

LKEY-SQZ is a 4 x 10.5 inch module which fits in Crystal Vision's Indigo frames available in 2RU, 1RU and desk top box sizes, with up to six boards fitting in 2RU. Using the RM77 frame rear module to access the inputs and outputs, it also offers relay bypass protection of the squeeze video or picture-in-picture video.

Using a dedicated unit to provide a squeeze back or picture-in-picture effect results in the highest possible quality. LKEY-SQZ removes the need to use a full vision switcher to provide a squeeze back, and is also useful for those who have a switcher which does not include this squeeze back functionality. LKEY-SQZ is shipping now and joins Crystal Vision's successful family of keyers, including the Safire 3 and Safire 3 Xpress chroma keyers, LKEY 3 linear keyer and MultiLogo logo keyers.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers and a full range of interface equipment including converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.


Crystal Vision will be showcasing its unique keying solution at BVE 2015 (Stand E01)

On Stand E01 at BVE 2015 visitors will find Crystal Vision’s latest products, in their UK exhibition debut. The show will be held at London’s Excel Arena between 24th and 26th February 2015. New products on show will include Crystal Vision’s award-winning LKEY-SQZ, a unique keying solution providing an exceptionally smooth squeeze back functionality. Also new are two distribution amplifiers for MADI audio - the MADDA105 and MADDA111, making sending many audio channels to multiple places easy, and a choice of two new control options to satisfy all preferences – VisionWeb web browser software and the VisionPanel hardware control panel.

Crystal Vision shows three different keying solutions at CABSAT (Stand D3-46)

CABSAT 2015 in Dubai will see Crystal Vision showing three different keying solutions – products that are traditionally most popular with customers in the Middle East. During the exhibition, which runs 10th – 12th March 2015, some of the products on stand D3-46 will include the Safire 3 chroma keyer which now comes with a full set of control options, MultiLogo logo keyer with new audio features and the award-winning LKEY-SQZ squeeze back keyer in its Middle Eastern exhibition debut.


New from Crystal Vision is LKEY 3, a linear keyer designed for the high quality keying of a real-time graphic generated by an external graphics machine over a 3Gb/s, HD or SD video stream. LKEY 3 is Crystal Vision's most advanced linear keyer yet, bringing with it a number of new features including 3Gb/s video compatibility, useful system timing functionality (built-in video delay and frame synchronizers) and enhanced masks offering adjustable edge softness. Providing straightforward operation, LKEY 3 is currently Crystal Vision's most affordable and space-saving solution for the keying of external graphics.

Crystal Vision unveils its newest chroma keyer at the 2015 NAB Show (Booth N3825)

Visitors attending the 2015 NAB Show will find Crystal Vision’s latest keying, interface and control products on Booth N3825, in their US exhibition debut. Held between April 13th and 16th 2015, the NAB Show is based at the LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center) in Las Vegas. The latest products making their US exhibition debut including the brand new Safire 3 Xpress – a new real-time chroma keyer that shares the processing quality of the full Safire 3, but has a simpler features set for easy control. Plus Crystal Vision’s award-winning LKEY-SQZ, a unique keying solution providing an exceptionally smooth squeeze back functionality, a choice of two new control options to satisfy all preferences – VisionWeb web browser and the VisionPanel hardware control panel and two new distribution amplifiers for MADI audio – the MADDA105 and MADDA111.

Low-cost and space-saving solution to MADI distribution from Crystal Vision

New from Crystal Vision are the MADDA105 and MADDA111 MADI distribution amplifiers, perfect for those broadcasters who require access to all their audio everywhere. Designed for applications where a large amount of audio needs to be transported as a block, they take in a MADI data stream usually containing up to 64 mono audio channels and create up to eleven copies of this data stream which can then be sent to different places. By including just the essential features for a MADI DA – with their cost-effective non-reclocked outputs and simple LED and GPI signal monitoring – Crystal Vision ensures MADDA105 and MADDA111 stay a truly low-cost solution to MADI distribution.

Crystal Vision releases one board solution to delay and process any audio

ADP 310 is Crystal Vision's latest multi-functional product designed to save engineers money and rack space. ADP 310 is a versatile audio delay line and processor for multiple channels of discrete AES or analogue audio, and can additionally be used as an audio shuffler. ADP 310 is a one product solution for all discrete audio delay and processing requirements – from matching audio to a delayed video path (by providing up to 400ms of user adjustable delay) to processing audio and re-ordering the audio channels