News Production & Post

New Q-Downs please!

2 July 2009

SIS LIVE purchased another 36 of the Q-Down183-A down-converters from Crystal Vision, taking its total to 135, for its coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championships.

SIS LIVE already owned 99 Q-Downs and needed another 36 of the Crystal Vision down-converters due to the large number of discrete feeds involved. The Q-Downs are located in the On Site Central Apparatus Room (OSCAR) at Wimbledon – SIS LIVE’s primary distribution point – as well as in the OB 12 Outside Broadcast vehicle where the Centre Court mixer is located. The Q-Downs are being fed a mixture of HD 1080i and SD 625 signals, with the down-converted feeds used either for recording or direct broadcast. The Q-Downs are also being used to provide equalisation and reclocking of the HD signals.

Well-known for its short processing delay of just 16 lines, the Q-Down183-A provides eight reclocked loop-throughs of an HD or SD input, along with three Standard Definition outputs individually selectable between analogue (as composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB) and digital. SIS LIVE selected the Q-Down-A version because of its embedded audio handling which makes it ideal as a main signal path down-converter, while Q-Down-A’s variable delay of up to one frame allows SIS LIVE to delay the other feeds by 50 lines to match the down-converter delay from the Sony camera.

Explained George Bowler, vision control and maintenance supervisor of OB 12: “The Q-Down is a super product that fills a very important gap in both fixed and mobile applications. Crystal Vision is proactive in finding out what the customer wants from a product, and if it can customise their products for you it will, without fuss.” The RM45 frame rear module was originally developed following a request from George Bowler last year, to allow him to configure the exact outputs he needed from his Q-Downs.

SIS LIVE is using much of its already-owned Crystal Vision equipment for its Wimbledon coverage, including the LKEY HD high definition linear keyer to provide score keying on the outside courts.

The Q-Downs were also used in the BBC Sport Hawkeye operation at Queen’s Club tennis tournament at the beginning of June. Future applications will see the down-converters being used for any outside broadcast or flyaway job undertaken by SIS LIVE.

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