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25/09/2007

Crystal Vision Release Safire HD 2 Chroma Keyer

Safire HD 2 is Crystal Vision’s new High Definition chroma keyer which offers more features than ever before at a reduced price.
Crystal Vision chroma keyers are used by broadcasters and sports graphics providers across the world, and many of the new features introduced with Safire HD 2 have come about thanks to direct input from customers.
The most significant new addition is Selectable Colour Suppression – a powerful and unique feature which allows more tolerance to 'difficult colours' in the Foreground such as someone wearing blue clothes in front of a blue screen. This tolerance is achieved by offering two sets of Hue and Acceptance Angle controls, which generate the key signal by deciding whether a pixel in the output is Foreground or Background and additionally produce the Suppressed Foreground by removing the key colour from the Foreground. Safire HD 2 extracts the information for these two uses separately, allowing the operator to set different (and ideal) values for each function and giving a better result.
An increase in the chroma key gain helps Safire HD 2 to deal with poor key signals caused by low light conditions. There are also improvements to the shadow processing. Shadows can add realism to the final image in a virtual studio application but it can traditionally be difficult for operators to get a good balance between producing a solid chroma key and retaining the shadows.
Safire HD 2 therefore allows users to set up their chroma key first and then adjust their shadow enhancement separately with an increased level of control – making it even easier to get clean and natural-looking shadows.
Safire HD 2 continues to be the leading HD chroma keyer for inserting graphics on to sporting surfaces during live events thanks to its three special features: Force Foreground, Force FB and Luminance keying. A major use of the Luminance key is to add graphics to winter sports and one of Safire HD 2’s new features makes the setting up of this easier, by allowing the operator to view the Luminance key on a monitor so he can continually tweak the settings as the light changes.
This new feature was requested by a Crystal Vision customer who had used the original Safire HD extensively for keying on snow, ice and water.
Safire HD was the first realistically-priced HD chroma keyer, with Safire HD 2 offering further price reductions thanks to its improved design and increased volumes of production.
Safire HD 2 remains the easiest chroma keyer to set up to get excellent results in the live studio – with many side-by-side evaluations won on the ease of use. Control options include the physical buttons of the Safire Controller 2U panel or the Statesman software for those that are happier with a PC.
A real strength of the Crystal Vision chroma keyers has always come from the fact that they form part of a space-saving modular system, and can be housed alongside any other products from the range – including video delays which are essential in a virtual system.
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.
For further information visit: www.crystalvision.tv
(DS)
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