Crystal Vision releases its highest specification video synchronizer

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[caption id="attachment_46243" align="alignright" width="150" caption="SYN-A 3G video synchronizer"]

[/caption]New from

Crystal Vision

is a highly specified

video frame synchronizer

for broadcast engineers who need to synchronize video sources containing up to four groups of embedded audio. SYN-A 3G has been designed to either synchronize 3Gb/s, HD or SD sources timed to a different reference or correct system processing delays, with this feature-packed modular solution including audio routing and resampling, tracking audio delay, sophisticated handling of Dolby E, flexible delay compensation, AFD insertion, video proc-amp and integrated fiber connectivity.  


can both synchronize incoming video signals which are not locked to the local reference – taking its timing from the external analog reference and automatically synchronizing sources between 0 and 1 frame – and compensate for timing delays within the video system, ideal for when the frame rate is correct but the source has been passed through equipment and therefore been delayed for a few lines. The ability to cross-lock allows it to conveniently use any available timing signals, with a 3Gb/s, HD or SD input referenced to either HD tri-level syncs or SD Black and Burst. Both automatic and manual freeze are available, with the user able to choose to show the last good frame or alternatively a black or blue screen or 100% color bars.  

SYN-A 3G will handle, resample and route four groups of embedded audio. Full channel shuffling is provided by the 8 x 8 stereo router, while the 16 audio resamplers can be used to avoid clicks and pops in the audio should the video drop a frame. Audio channel pairs can also be muted. SYN-A 3G allows flexible handling of Dolby E, with Dolby E data automatically detected and processed appropriately. SYN-A 3G will synchronize video containing Dolby E, linear audio or both – allowing a mixture of Dolby E and linear AES within the same audio group by separating them and synchronizing both types in the appropriate way before re-embedding the audio.  

SYN-A 3G offers a flexible range of video and audio delays to help match all the signals and ensure Dolby alignment. To compensate for mistimed sources elsewhere in the system, the video output timing relative to the reference can be adjusted through an entire frame using horizontal and vertical settings. Up to three frames of video delay – adjustable in whole frame steps – is available to match Dolby E or other big system delays. An internal tracking audio delay tracks the video delay, running the audio fast or slow to ensure the video and audio stay correctly timed and to avoid lip-sync errors. When dealing with Dolby E, SYN-A 3G has the ability to auto-correct timing errors with the guardband, aligning it correctly with the output video switching point. Up to three frames of delay can be added to Dolby E to match the equivalent video delay, while the linear AES can be delayed by an additional 120ms on top of the tracking to compensate for any video processing.  

SYN-A 3G can also be used as an AFD inserter, adding SMPTE 2016 AFD data to a signal which provides picture format information and allows downstream equipment to automatically select the appropriate aspect ratio. HD programs are often made of a mixture of true High Definition sources and SD-originated sources that have been up converted and have black pillars at the sides. SYN-A 3G can embed one of 16 AFD codes into the signal for the down converter to read, with the code describing which areas of the screen contain a picture and which areas are black ‘padding’.  

SYN-A 3G additionally includes a video proc-amp for picture optimization and to help maintain color fidelity, with adjustment of the video gain, black level and independent RGB and YUV gains.  

SYN-A 3G can be easily given integrated fiber input/output connectivity, allowing the signals to be carried over longer distances. Designed for SMPTE 297-2006 short-haul applications, the FIP fiber input option is used to receive an optical input and the FOP fiber output option to transmit an optical output using a Class I laser. Having the fiber integral to the board reduces the need to use up additional rack space and money for separate fiber optic transmitters and receivers. SYN-A 3G can also support CWDM lasers.  

Explained Crystal Vision's Managing Director Philip Scofield: “Synchronizers have always been a key part of Crystal Vision’s modular product range and the SYN-A 3G is the highest spec synchronizer yet. If you want the peace of mind that comes with signal processing designed to ensure a good output whatever input is presented, then this is the product for you."  

SYN-A 3G is a space-saving 4 x 10.5 inches module which is housed in the standard Crystal Vision frames, available in 4RU, 2RU, 1RU and desk top sizes and with up to 12 boards fitting in 2RU. It can be used with two frame rear modules – either the default RM41 or the RM57 for fiber applications. Having four video outputs makes it easy to send the synchronized signal to multiple places and saves the expense of a distribution amplifier on the output.  

Operating SYN-A 3G is straightforward, with control options including board edge switches, an active front panel on the frame, a remote control panel, GPIs, SNMP and the Statesman PC software. Two GPI outputs are reserved for alarm indication and may be assigned any number of 16 video and audio alarms, allowing comprehensive signal monitoring.  

Joining Crystal Vision’s extensive family of video synchronizers, SYN-A 3G is shipping now.  

Based at Whittlesford near Cambridge in the UK and with an office in the USA,

Crystal Vision


digital keyers


picture storage

modules and a full range of interface equipment including





distribution amplifiers


audio embedders

to the professional broadcasting industry worldwide.



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