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Variosystems’ Osprey Line: Video Capture Cards, Anyone?

Although Variosystems is a modern and international electronics service company that thinks and acts comprehensively, offering a global service andsupport network of optimal system and logistic solutions, their humble beginnings show how they became an international electronics service company that is 100% committed to the clients’ needs in providing optimal customer service and advice.

Way back in 1922, Major General (retired) George Owen Squire (PhD) started the streaming ball rolling with his introduction of wired radio (which, a dozen years later, evolved into Muzak) to his business customers over existing electrical lines, bypassing traditional radio. Years passed. Then, the computer age dawned; after several more decades of effort passed, a means to convert and display media on computers that was economically feasible was discovered in the mid-to-late 1980s. The advent of practical PCs helped reignite streaming media… technology had finally advanced enough that, by the early nineties, modern-era streaming had begun. Improved access to networks, the impetus of commerce, and greatly-increased network bandwidth helped evolve that cute little stream of information into the mighty digital river we tap into today.

Osprey 800a Audio Card
Osprey 800a Audio Card

In 1993, a three-man team founded Variosystems in Switzerland; this trio comprised the owners and joint CEO’s of the company. They had astraightforward goal – to be a responsible international electronics service company, committed to their customers, employees and growth. 1998 saw their presence expand into Badalgama In Sri Lanka, in 1999 they established themselves in Dallas in the USA and by two thousand six they also acquired a location in Hangzhou, the capital of the Zhejiang province in China. After that, they expanded and solidified their position in those host countries and the international electronics community. Today, they have over 1100 employees at their green sites in these nations.

Osprey 815e
Osprey 815e

In March of 2014, Variosystems acquired Osprey Video Technology – the company that had set the standard for quality and reliability in streaming media way back near the beginning of modern streaming. Have no fear! The flow of premium quality video capture cards shall not diminish! Variosystems is committed to maintaining the Osprey Video Capture Card product line. In addition to their current cards, the following four cards will also become available in 2015, bringing the total to seventeen different video capture cards, to fulfill every conceivable video capture need. On January 15th 2015, the Osprey 815e (single channel digital capture) and the Osprey 821e (performance-enhanced dual channel HDMI capture) will be added; on February 15th 2015, the Osprey 811e (single channel HDMI capture), followed finally March 15th 2015 with the Osprey 827e (dual channel HDMI/DVI analog/digital SD/HD capture) – all added to the Osprey product line.

Increasing streaming demands from social media have also helped spur live streaming aka (“true streaming”) even further along. This doesn’t comprise all streaming applications, of course; everything can’t be new all the time. Video capture cards have been another major component of the modern streaming revolution, and Osprey cards help deliver audio and video signals worldwide. For broadcasting and those fields of endeavor that need to capture analog and high-definition digital sources, Osprey cards have proved invaluable. Whether accessing single or multiple channels, the Osprey product line has the cards you need. Converting analog to a more readily usable digital state is also helping push along increasing HD demands. The broadcast community’s embracing of streaming and other evolving technologies have truly made versatile devices like Variosystems’ Osprey line of video capture cards the belle of the ball.

Your studio’s particular niche will dictate which capture cards you will need: balanced or unbalanced stereo, HD, S-video – perhaps with a low profile?

Osprey 460e analog
Osprey 460e analog

Any problem or requirement a capture card can solve, Variosystems’ Osprey line can handle. You don’t make over 400,000 of something if you don’t have a winning formula. Variosystems maintains absolute control over all phases of the card’s construction, ensuring Osprey’s tradition for top-quality remains intact. These cards meet criteria even more demanding than those for the broadcast community by meeting all applicable medical, avionics and military applications and standards. Standards for these fields have to be at the absolute apex of product reliability and quality control because, at times, it’s the literal difference between life and death. This total product control allows the flexibility for customer-specific custom configurations with a minimum of time and ‘fuss’ for its customers and partners, from analog to digital, single source to high density capture.

The Osprey Legacy Series for PCI & PCI-X has stood the test of time and been in production over a decade; these cards have proven their usefulness and reliability. Thousands of studios have chosen this solution for perfect capture and to be their answer for dealing with NTCS and PAL analog video over serial bus architectures. The Variosystems’ Osprey Analog Series is built on a high-speed PCLe bus and is ideally suited for perfect analog capture on a variety of platforms. These cards support both NTCS and PAL video inputs from a variety of sources, including component, composite, and S-video. The Osprey SDK allows for customer application integration. Variosystems’ Osprey 800 series of digital PCLe capture cards are designed for broadcaster and OEM users working with the modern high-speed PC platforms, allowing high-definition capture from a wide variety of sources. All of the 800 series cards come equipped with the amazingly flexible Simulstream® technology. Simulstream® software allows a single Osprey capture board to concurrently encode several streams of audio and video, even if the bit rates and resolutions aren’t the same. This handy bit of software was designed with the high volume user in mind.

Osprey 530 with Ssimulstream
Osprey 530 with Simulstream

Each of these top-of-the-line capture cards has their own tailored uses; three cards from the Osprey line (the 845e, 460e, and the 440) capture four independent streaming channels each! Channel capture is, of course, only part of the story… what can it do once it has it? What capabilities does it enable? High-density encoding applications love Osprey cards. This, in turn, helps smooth and facilitate workflow, which then leads to streamlined solutions. Nice! With the aid of these cards, you can do things like access pre-processing features – including such things as de-interlacing, rendering, fiddling with those closed captions, alter positioning and transparency on a logo/bitmap overlay. All kinds of neat things! Useful, potentially profitable, and, dare I say, fun. With today’s perpetually shifting and evolving technologies, the ability to adapt to abrupt change becomes increasingly important; in that, Spirit Osprey Cards can readjust quickly to accommodate many on-the-fly-changes, such as when video input format is changed from television to movie frame rates or vice versa.

For the broadcaster, the Osprey product line has already proved its reputation as a world leader in the video capture industry. It has consistently lead product innovation from the razor point of the cutting edge. The Osprey line works, and works hard; it’s really quite simple – if you want a capture card that works correctly, then you want an Osprey. These cards are readily compatible with Windows and Linux platforms – with the latest codecs. Seamless operation for mission-critical applications has produced Osprey’s nigh-legendary record as a broadcast solution. When Variosystems acquired Osprey, they took measures to guarantee continued product excellence and doubled the product development staff along with the addition of hardware and software specialists and quality assurance professionals. To stay abreast or get ahead in the rapidly changing mass media marketplace and deal with global growth in almost every facet of the industry, your studio needs a potent ally and powerful tools. Consider Variosystems and its Osprey video capture cards.

variosystems texas

About Variosystems, Inc.

Variosystems, founded in 1993, has more than 1,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA. Variosystems is a modern and international electronics service company that thinks and acts comprehensively. It offers its clients a global service and support, to ensure a successful, long-term cooperation. On the basis of a win-win situation Variosystems produces qualitatively superior products. All its sites are networked via SAP and able to offer optimal system and logistic solutions.  Variosystems has been engineering technology to meet the exacting demands of clients and markets for over 20 years. Variosystems manufactures electronic devices and equipment that is economically and technologically well-engineered, and which can be used in complex systems. Osprey® and SimulStream® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Osprey by Variosystems, LLC.

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Editor-In-Chief, Publisher at Broadcast Beat Magazine, LLC.
Ryan started working in the broadcast and post production industry at the young age of twelve! He has produced television programs, built large post production facilities, written for some of the industry's leading publications and was an audio engineer for about ten years. Ryan previously wrote for Broadcast Engineering Magazine, Creative COW and his projects have been featured in dozens of publications.
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