Crystal Vision the key for HD virtual studio upgrade

bbcnorthernirelandphotoCrystal Vision provided a large number of modular boards, including three of its industry-leading Safire 3 chroma keyers, as part of a major upgrade to Studio B at the home of BBC Northern Ireland in Belfast. The contract was with systems integrator Dega Broadcast Systems which carried out the upgrade.

Studio B is primarily used for regional news and magazine programmes, including Newsline, the popular local news broadcast. As part of the continuing development of BBC regional output, the studio was being upgraded to HD. Virtual studio and augmented reality capabilities were included in the Studio B upgrade, ensuring the most flexible use of the studio as well as giving a modern look to Newsline and other programmes.

The entire technical infrastructure was being replaced as part of the project, with much of the underlying technology provided by Crystal Vision. A total of 106 modular boards were included in the contract, including a large number of 3Gb/s-ready HD distribution amplifiers, audio and video processors, and up and down converters.

For the virtual studio capabilities, three Safire 3 chroma keyers were included. The Safire 3 is widely recognised as delivering extremely high quality and high precision keying, at resolutions from SD to 1080p. It is ideal for applications such as augmenting a live output with virtual graphics and set extensions. The studio infrastructure also includes 11 SYNNER 310 synchronizers and 11 ViViD 3G video delays to ensure a perfect match between live and virtual elements.

For Dega, John Cleaver said “The Crystal Vision Safire 3 chroma keyer is one of the great unsung hero products: a really good keyer which is highly affordable and with simple set-and-forget functionality. It is a perfect choice for a news studio where complicated routines and unreliability is just not acceptable.”

The 106 modular boards are housed in 14 Crystal Vision Indigo 2SE 2RU frames. They are all controlled and monitored over SNMP, with a VisionPanel touch-screen interface. The HD upgrade of Belfast Studio B is now complete with the studio on air.

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA, Crystal Vision provides a full range of interface and keyers and helps people transition through a range of technologies – from SD to HD and from HD to IP.

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