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Crystal Vision interface modules used for BBC North’s new buildings

Systems integrator Dega Broadcast Systems is installing 130 Crystal Vision up and down converters and other interface modules into BBC North's new buildings at MediaCityUK.

Systems integrator Dega Broadcast Systems is installing 130 Crystal Vision up and down converters and other interface modules into BBC North’s new buildings at MediaCityUK, with the modules purchased as part of Dega’s contract won through competitive tender. With over 2000 BBC staff already based on the site, the BBC’s three buildings – Bridge House, Dock House and Quay House – form a new creative hub for the BBC in the North of England for production, technology development, training and digital media. The divisions that are based in Salford include BBC Children’s, BBC Sport, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Learning as well as the BBC’s regional and local programming for the North West and departments from BBC Drama, BBC Entertainment and Comedy and Future Media & Technology. BBC Breakfast will arrive onsite by April 2012. MediaCityUK is owned and managed by The Peel Group. 130 Crystal Vision up and down converters – mainly the Up-Down-ATX 3G (pictured) – are being used in the installation, both for up and down conversion as required and fixed as either up or down converters. Featuring both motion adaptive video de-interlacing and Crystal Vision’s proprietary down conversion, Up-Down-ATX 3G can convert 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources, handles up to four groups of embedded audio with audio routing, and can perform two different conversions at the same time and provide co-timed dual outputs. It includes extensive data handling features including timecode, teletext and closed captions, with the timecode handling required for this installation. The Up-Down-AS 3G synchronising up/down/converter is being used for any sources that are timed to a different reference or have processing delays that need correcting, and includes two synchronisers downstream of the converter to give a continuous clean output in the two formats, even if the input format changes. Also in use is the Q-Down123 short-delay broadcast down converter and distribution amplifier, selected for being a cost-effective way to down convert while giving out PAL, with the flexible outputs configurable as mixtures of SDI, composite, Y/C, YUV and RGB. AVDELAY 3G audio/video delays are being used to correct incoming circuits, which have A/V delay errors. AVDELAY 3G allows the relative audio/video timing to be changed by several seconds in either direction by providing up to 10 seconds of video delay in SD, five seconds in HD and two seconds in 3Gb/s along with ten seconds of audio delay, and therefore allows the correction of large lip-sync errors. Reference distribution is done using VDA110M HD analogue video distribution amplifiers. Crystal Vision boards are additionally being used in two ‘flight case systems’ which can be plugged up round the whole site to wallboxes, and are connected to the central systems by a fibre infrastructure. ADCA412 analogue to digital audio converters are being used to get analogue audio into TANDEM 3G four group audio embedders/de-embedders with integrated fibre output connectivity. Also in the flight case are FRX 3G dual channel fibre optic receivers, which meet the SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul specification and use a Class I laser. The Crystal Vision boards are housed in 21 Indigo 2SE 2U frames – each holding up to 12 boards – with the boards controlled via SNMP. In addition to the two flight cases, the frames are distributed through a number of apparatus rooms in all three buildings.