Embed, de-embed and decode Dolby E in a single module with Crystal Vision’s TANDEM 310

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TANDEM 310 is Crystal Vision's most powerful

audio embedder/de-embedder

yet. Working with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources,


can embed and de-embed a mixture of up to four groups of AES and two groups of analog audio at the same time, and includes full audio routing, audio and video processing, integrated fiber connectivity, flexible delay compensation and Dolby E decoding. TANDEM 310 is

Crystal Vision's

first 3Gb/s-capable embedder for analog audio (as well as digital) making it ideal for use with microphones in the studio, and the first Crystal Vision product to include Dolby decoding.  

TANDEM 310 embeds and de-embeds external audio by fitting up to two audio piggybacks to the main board, with three different piggybacks available. For analog audio the HD-AIP2 is used for embedding two stereo pairs or four mono channels and the HD-AOP2 for de-embedding two stereo pairs or four mono channels. For digital audio the DIOP4 piggyback will embed or de-embed four stereo pairs, with four bi-directional AES ports available on each piggyback and the engineer able to select whether to embed or de-embed each channel independently.  

By fitting two of these piggybacks TANDEM 310 can be configured as a two group analog audio embedder/de-embedder or a four group AES embedder/de-embedder. Alternatively analog and digital piggybacks can be mixed to create a hybrid system – ideal for those using analog microphones with digital audio mixers in the studio.  

TANDEM 310 is Crystal Vision's first product to be fitted with the DBE-D top board to create a combined embedder, de-embedder and Dolby decoder, which is a more convenient and space-saving way to decode Dolby E signals that need to be de-embedded or re-embedded than using separate products for the task.  

The DBE-D Dolby decoder connects directly to the main TANDEM 310 module through an expansion connector, hooking into the onboard audio router, and is perfect for those applications where the audio within the Dolby E stream needs to be processed in some way, or where the Dolby E needs to be decoded before transmission. The DBE-D allows a Dolby E signal to be decoded and then either output as analog or AES audio (using the appropriate output piggybacks) or re-embedded into the output video, with the Dolby signal coming either from the embedded video input or from an external audio stream which is input via a DIOP4 piggyback. The DBE-D also includes a stereo down mix, which mixes the multiple audio channels within the 5.1 surround sound down to a single stereo pair for easier monitoring.  

TANDEM 310 can shuffle and overwrite audio channels taken from the incoming video input, input piggybacks and DBE-D Dolby E decoder. As well as featuring short minimum delays for both the audio and video to help prevent system lip-sync complications, TANDEM 310 makes it easy to match all the signals – with an adjustable audio delay of up to 400ms and ten frames of video delay which can be used to match any big system delays, such as those created by Dolby E encoding and decoding or transcoding to AC3 and re-embedding.  

The audio and video can both be optimized, with audio gain adjustments, stereo to mono conversion and a video proc-amp allowing adjustment of the video gain, black level and independent RGB and YUV gains.  

Explained Crystal Vision's Managing Director Philip Scofield: "TANDEM 310 is the first of a generation of infrastructure products from Crystal Vision with new hardware and software to give increased functionality, simplicity of operation and reduced cost. The embedding and de-embedding of both analog and digital audio, combined with the programmable delays, audio routing and Dolby options, allows it to be used in almost any applications that process embedded audio."  

TANDEM 310 can also easily be given integrated fiber input/output connectivity by fitting the FIP fiber input option, FOP fiber output option or FIO fiber input and output option, which makes it easy to embed or de-embed signals from beyond the local equipment bay. Having the fiber integral to the board reduces the need to use additional rack space for separate fiber optic transmitters and receivers, and also brings financial savings.  

TANDEM 310 is a space-saving 4 x 10.5 inches module, which fits in the standard Crystal Vision frames available in 4RU, 2RU, 1RU and desk top box sizes and with up to 12 boards housed in 2RU. Five different frame rear modules are available (the RM47, RM49, RM60, RM61 and RM70) allowing use with both 75 ohm and 110 ohm audio. If a DBE-D Dolby decoder is fitted, TANDEM 310 can be used with two different rear module combinations: either the RM47 + RM46 for standard applications or the RM60 + RM46 for fiber applications.  

TANDEM 310 is very straightforward to operate, 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. One GPI output is reserved for alarm indication and may be assigned any number of 37 video and audio alarms, providing comprehensive signal monitoring.  

TANDEM 310 will be shipping in January.  

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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