ORF Selects 221 Crystal Vision Interface Boards for Studio RP1 Rebuild

Austria’s national public service broadcaster ORF has selected Crystal Vision to supply 221 interface boards including up and down converters, synchronisers, routing switches, distribution amplifiers and video delays for the rebuild of its RP1 Studio.

ORF has already used Crystal Vision to help upgrade previous studios to HD, with studios RP6 and RP3 upgraded in 2010. This rebuild will be ORF’s third HD upgraded studio. RP1, which had been taken out of service many years ago, will be rebuilt with a new control room. Studio RP1 should be ready for operation at the end of July 2012.

ORF broadcasts six television channels – ORFeins (ORFeins HD), ORF2 (ORF2 HD), ORF2 Europe, ORF III, ORF Sport and 3Sat (in association with ARD, ZDF and SF). The RP1 studio is 1,500 square metres in size and has a ceiling height of 14m with a capacity of 1000 people. The programmes that will be filmed in the new RP1 studio will be big shows and productions hence the need of a larger studio again. These productions will be mainly transmitted through ORFeins, however all major events programmes will be produced using RP1. This will allow for transmission across other channels.

Eight Up-Down-A 3G up, down, cross converters were purchased to use in the new studio to ensure that an HD output can be used as well as SD from within the control room. The board is ideal for this as it can perform two different conversions at the same time and output both HD and SD simultaneously, with co-timed dual outputs which remain constant in format even if the input changes thanks to intelligent internal routing.

12 Up-Down-AS 3G synchronising up, down, cross converters have been implemented by ORF to convert non-system signals to the correct HD format and timing. An additional three frames of video delay was required making these cards ideal for the new rebuild.

ORF purchased seven Q-Down-AG 3G and 16 Q-Down123 down converters. These down converters offer a short processing delay to keep everything in sync and work with HD and SD sources – while the Q-Down-AG 3G can work with 3Gb/s too. In addition to providing up to eight input loop-throughs, they also provide three HD or SD down converted outputs individually selectable between analogue and digital. The Q-Down-AG 3Gs will be used to distribute programmes and clean feeds and also allow down converting for other signals to be used for SD transmission. ORF liked the ease of being able to select SDI or analogue outputs via the Statesman PC control software. They also liked that the Q-Down-AG 3G can be fitted with a fibre input or output option, rather than relying on the short length of a normal copper cable. The Q-Down123s were used as they are a fast and cost effective way of converting HD signals into analogue SD for the studio cameras’ Q-TV input.

ORF is using 19 SYN-A 3G synchronisers to synchronise lines from the studio to the control room via splitters and also synchronise a Blu-Ray player. The SYN-A 3G features that ORF finds particularly useful are the optical input capabilities – with the ability to fit a FIP fibre input option for fibre directly into the board – and the use of three video outputs.

Eight SYNNER-E 3G multi-functional synchronisers fitted with a FIP fibre input option are being used to synchronise and de-embed audio on the lines from the central matrix to the control room. These were chosen because optical input was a necessity here. A further three SYNNER-E 3Gs will be fitted with a FOP fibre output option to allow for optical output.

Routing switches are being implemented as output selectors for programmes and clean feeds. The two Safe Switch-L 3G clean and intelligent 2 x 2 switches – with a full framestore synchroniser on each input to guarantee a clean switch – will be used either from the router, with already embedded audio, or directly from the vision mixer.

ORF purchased 14 3GDA105N and five 3GDA111N non-reclocking digital video distribution amplifiers for the simple distribution of SD and HD. 16 VDA110M HD analogue video distribution amplifiers were purchased to allow distribution of the analogue reference. ORF needed a distribution amplifier that could give multiple outputs, and the eleven outputs provided by the VDA110M HD made it ideal.

To convert analogue signals from the autocue and the output of wireless cameras to bring them into a digital system, five ADDEC210 analogue to digital converters are being fitted.

The one FTX 3G fibre optic transmitter and two FRX 3G fibre optic receivers – which are both dual channel – are useful to have within the new studio as it allows graphics to be transported over long distances from ORF’s graphics room which is located over 200m away and therefore cannot be distributed reliably through copper wires. Having two feeds of each electrical output on the FRX 3G receiver is considered very useful for monitoring at ORF.

Six FTX-L-CWDM 3G fibre optic transmitters have been purchased because 12 outputs of the vision mixer have to be merged into two CWDM streams. Electrical outputs of the mixer must be brought into the individual CWDM frequency using this card. ORF favours CWDM because it allows the merging of six video signals to one fibre and allows patching fibre too.

Finally, 25 ViViD HD video delays – providing half a second of HD delay and three seconds of SD – allow for the delaying of the output from all cameras to match up with delayed wireless cameras. The GPI control of three different delays is a particular feature of the ViViD HD that will prove useful for ORF.

The boards are located in the RP1 control room and with board operation coming from Statesman Lite – the free version of Crystal Vision’s PC control software.

The total order of 221 interface boards was co-ordinated by Crystal Vision’s Austrian distributor, Gablitz near Vienna – based systems integrator Gelantec. ORF has been buying products from Crystal Vision for 11 years and was Crystal Vision’s biggest overseas customer in both 2008 and 2009.




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