At Azzurro HD, we are using both the HD-SDI and HDMI models of Marshall Electronics’ VS-102 encoder/decoder. The primary use is for program return feeds, prompter feeds and video monitor feeds. We also send mix-minus IFB over the audio channel, rather than using a phone line. (IFB is the audio feed that goes into the talent’s ear, which can be interrupted and replaced by the television producer or director’s intercom in order for them to cue the talent during a broadcast.) Marshall’s encoder is a great tool for this purpose because of its low latency, which is crucial for IFB to produce a natural conversation between the anchor and the guest.
We did have an anomaly come up with one of our international clients that turned out to be a firmware issue. We hadn’t come across it before because it was specific to 50 Hz versus 60 Hz.
It was for our client in Australia. When we brought it to Marshall’s attention, they quickly identified where the compatibility problem was occurring. They were able to get the issue resolved within 48 hours and sent us new firmware to upload to the encoders. I was impressed with how quickly they were able to resolve the issue. In the case of Australia, the encoders are required to be on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we needed a solution that would be reliable while operating constantly. We have confidence that the Marshall encoders will continue to work well in these types of applications.
Dave Lanton is vice president of technology at Azzurro HD.