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14/12/2006

Smart Switch From Crystal Vision Secures Video Output

New from Crystal Vision is Smart Switch, an intelligent 2 x 1 SDI switch which provides the broadcaster with peace of mind by monitoring two video inputs with embedded audio and automatically switching to backup if a fault condition on the main feed is detected – thereby securing the video output.
Smart Switch makes the best possible decision when switching to backup. Using the Statesman PC software, Smart Switch can be set to either ignore or create an alarm on any of the many different features it can measure: video frozen, video black, audio group missing, silence on a specific audio channel, EDH missing, EDH full field error and EDH active picture error. The period of time before the video black, video frozen and audio silence parameters trigger a switch can be set from 0 to 240 seconds, for further flexibility.
Having this choice of switching criteria allows the engineer to switch away from a fairly subtle fault on the main input, but only if the backup is free of that fault. The main feed can be set to be re-selected when the fault is cleared, if required. Should the main and standby inputs have different alarms set Smart Switch will cleverly work to the most significant feature to decide which input to select – with ‘loss of input’ having the highest priority and ‘channel 4 audio silent’ the lowest.
Alarms can also be set from the main Statesman Alarm Settings menu to ensure the engineer is personally notified of any fault conditions allowing them to send a maintenance engineer along to fix the problem. Notification can be by a flashing Statesman title bar, a sound through PC speakers or an e-mail message.
Smart Switch can also be used with GPI alarms. Two GPI outputs can be configured to indicate what the switch detects on one or both of the video inputs. This might be used if the engineer had a specific interest in monitoring a particular characteristic of the signal, wanted to tell a different computer system that something had happened, or wished to set up a buzzer or flashing light to notify them of any signal problems.
Crystal Vision’s Managing Director, Philip Scofield said: "Smart Switch is an important addition to our range. Automatic switching based on user selected parameters and the integration with station control software make it a unit which simplifies the design of high reliability broadcast systems."
Not only does Smart Switch give broadcasters high reliability, it also saves them rack space. The 100mm x 266mm module fits in any of the standard Crystal Vision frames, housing 24 boards in 4U, 12 in 2U, six in 1U and two in a desk top box. It is used with the RM04 frame rear module to give the switched SDI output along with a loop-through of the standby feed.
Smart Switch forms part of the new ‘smart’ family of products that give broadcasters the extra help they need, and follows the successful launch of the Smart DA distribution amplifier and signal probe earlier this year. Especially popular for broadcasters using embedded audio, Smart Switch is shipping now.
Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers and a full range of digital and analogue interface equipment including converters, decoders, encoders, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.
(DS)
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