(Cambridge, United Kingdom--June 18, 2014) Crystal Vision has completed the rollout of a full range of control options for its Safire 3 chroma keyer, with four different options now available to suit all preferences. Ideal for high-end live virtual productions and the only dedicated chroma keyer for 1080p, Safire 3 works with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources and features multi-point sampling for easy auto-setup, an extensive range of fine-tuning tools including built-in colour correction and lighting compensation, and timing adjustments including a frame synchroniser on each input and ten frames of video delay. Ease of operation is always important on a chroma keyer, and the four control methods have been developed through consultation with knowledgeable customers who operate chroma keyers on a daily basis.
For operators who enjoy hands-on control, the Safire 3 Controller is a stylish dedicated 3U control panel able to operate any number of Safire 3 chroma keyers over an Ethernet network, with the large, intuitive eight inch touch screen and physical controls making it ideal for live use. The Safire 3 Controller can sit on a desk stand, be fitted into a desk or be rack mounted. Eight hard buttons can be used to select the chroma keyer to be controlled, to monitor the incoming and outgoing signals and to recall and store presets – and can also take the operator straight to the home screen or back through previous menus. Soft buttons on the touch screen are used in conjunction with physical knobs to access the various intuitive setup menus, which allow the key processing, masks and engineering settings to be configured with ease.
For those more comfortable using computer control, the free VisionWeb Control allows Safire 3 to be operated from a web browser running on any device which is connected to the same network – from PC to tablet. VisionWeb uses the chroma keyer's XML control interface which is stored in the frame's front panel, and to access the control menus the operator simply types the IP address of the frame into the web browser. VisionWeb features well laid out and intuitive graphical control panels which scale well across a wide range of display sizes, and works best with up-to-date versions of any browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
The third option is GPIs for those who like their control as simple as possible. Five GPI inputs can be used to recall up to 32 presets, while one GPI input is dedicated to fading keys up and down. The key can be switched on and off from GPI, allowing an automation system to simply control the key without needing complex protocols.
Finally, control is also available from SNMP, allowing Safire 3 to be easily integrated into a third party control system. For example, one broadcaster is using SNMP to recall a different preset for each weather presenter, with the camera height and associated chroma key settings changing depending on the presenter's height. SNMP traps can be used to alert the operator to a loss of video inputs or other fault conditions.
Explained Crystal Vision's Managing Director Philip Scofield: "Our fifth generation chroma keyer is clearly the best we have produced, both in terms of the picture quality and the ease of fitting it into a broadcast environment".
Crystal Vision's chroma keyers have always saved broadcast engineers rack space. Safire 3 continues this tradition as a 100mm x 266mm module which is housed in Crystal Vision’s standard frames, with 12 chroma keyers (or other boards) fitting in 2U, six in 1U and two in a desk top box.
Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK, Crystal Vision provides digital keyers and a full range of interface equipment including converters, synchronisers, distribution amplifiers and audio embedders to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.