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Multi-Image Display Systems Used to Prevent Mistakes From Airing

Preventing mistakes during a broadcast or video production is the most important feature of a multi-image display system, and it does that by providing “flexibility” based on the needs of the user, says an audiovisual (A/V) engineer who oversees video production at a West Coast hospital.

Preventing mistakes during a broadcast or video production is the most important feature of a multi-image display system, and it does that by providing “flexibility” based on the needs of the user, says an audiovisual (A/V) engineer who oversees video production at a West Coast hospital.

A multi-image display system “should have as many features as the user needs so they can see everything at once, that way problems can be detected” quickly, said Derrick Lund, Seattle Children’s Hospital audiovisual/telemedicine engineer. Such a multi-image display system acts as “map” for the production crew, which needs to be able to see as many of the source images that are available at the time of production, he said.

Such source images can be from cameras or computers, said Lund, who added, “I like to be able to see all of that stuff so we don’t accidently switch to the wrong content.” That makes a multi-image display system “sort of a preventive thing we can keep our eye on.” It enables users to “tell what they are looking at on a screen” before switching to it, he said.

In order to improve the quality of the videos produced by the Seattle Children’s Hospital, the video production department recently installed Blackmagic Design’s SmartView Duo Monitors. The hospital recently renovated the auditorium where videos are produced and “all of the video equipment” was “ripped out” for the renovation, he added.

Most of the equipment installed during the renovation was made by Blackmagic Design, including the facility’s production switcher and video mixer, but the monitors were legacy items made by another company, Lund said. Those garnered “complaints” from some of the staff about dropped signals, which, in part, led to the subsequent decision to acquire the SmartView Duo Monitors, he said.

Blackmagic Design’s SmartView Duo The production staff wanted a monitor that “doesn’t necessarily have a lot of bells and whistles,” especially a monitor that enables the color or tint to be adjusted manually, Lund said. “We wanted to set it [the color and tint] and leave it as is so that when other technicians use the equipment, the settings wouldn’t get changed,” he said. “I really like the Blackmagic monitors specifically because all those settings are done through software.”

Blackmagic Design’s SmartView Duo is a pair of side-by-side eight-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors, both with an autoselecting 3G, high-definition (HD), secure digital- serial digital interface (SD-SDI) input, that are housed in a 3 RU-high, rack mountable form, the company said. The SmartView Duo’s 800 x 480-resolution displays’ auto-switching SDI inputs accept an extremely wide range of digital signals, from standard-def 525i and 625i to full progressive high-definition 1080p60 and several flavors of 2K-resolution video, the company says.

Among the many multi-image display systems that can fill the needs of a user are:


Avitech International Corp.’s Rainier 3G Plus Avitech International Corp. offers the Rainier 3G Plus with a “1 RU chassis” that can house up to 16 channels of 3G, HD, SD-SDI, computer vision (CV), digital visual interface-I (DVI-I) and highdefinition multimedia interface (HDMI) inputs on four card modules, as well as four HDMI and 3G-SDI outputs. All 16 sources can be displayed on a single screen with duplication on four outputs, on four quad displays, or any combination of multiples of fours on duplicate outputs, according to Morris Gong, Avitech’s president. The 3G Plus features a front LCD control display panel for easy configuration, and a user can key in labels and select presets without needing to connect to a computer, he says.


Apantac’s Tahoma DL 8+8 Apantac offers its Tahoma DL 8+8, a hybrid multi-viewer that takes computer inputs such as HDMI, DVI, video graphics array (VGA) and component inputs and composite inputs, as well as SDI inputs, says Thomas Tang, the company’s president.

The Tahoma “8+8” stands for “eight multimedia plus eight broadcast” inputs, and the multi-viewer enables images to be scaled, placed where needed, or increased or reduced in size. It can recall presets or add clocks, the time of day, logos and maps onto the same screen. Users can “mix and match any type of input needed,” he said.


Harris’ HView SX Pro Harris offers its HView SX Pro, the company’s latest multi-viewer option that is combined with Harris’ Platinum routing frame.

By combining the best of Harris’ multi-image processing technology with the Platinum router series, the HView SX Pro is more than a multi-viewer, according to Kevin Jackson, the company’s product manager. He describes it a powerful, reliable, space-saving multi-display management system that is easy to deploy, consumes less power and reduces overall integration and operating costs.

With the HView SX Pro, users have more sources and outputs in fewer rack units along with advanced scaling technology for high picture quality, Jackson said. The HView also offers display output options, built-in wall control functionality and a range of userfriendly configuration and control options.


RGB Spectrum’s SuperView 5000 RGB Spectrum’s display systems are built around several models of its multi-viewer products, says John Henkel, the company’s product marketing manager.

RGB Spectrum offers its QuadView HDx, the SuperView 4100 and the SuperView 5000. With those systems users have access to four windows plus the background, four video inputs, one monitor, one output, or eight windows, eight inputs, or 12 windows and one output, depending on the user’s needs, he said.


Sierra Video’s SVG Multi-viewer Sierra Video offers the SVG Multi-viewer is a modular unit that enables the customization of inputs in groups of four up to 20 inputs with the additional HDMI input on each output module. The three input modules consist of the CV/SD module, the 3G HD-SDI module and a HDMI module with high-bandwidth digital content protect ion (HDCP) and extended display identification data (EDID), Sierra Video said. There are two output modules available, the VGA output with a cloned HDMI output or HD-SDI output with a cloned HDMI output (to 1920x1080p). Dual output systems require identical output modules, the company said.

The SVG can handle up to 20 high-quality, auto-sensing inputs (Composite, SD-SDI, HDMI and HD-SDI up to 3G) plus an HDMI input located on each output module, for a total of 21 inputs displayed on a single HDMI, VGA or HD-SDI monitor (or up to 18 inputs on a dual output system).


Snell’s MV-Series Multiviewer unit Snell offers its MV-Series Multiviewer unit that has been designed to provide a flexible and cost effective solution for combining and displaying multiple images on a single or dual video display and has been optimized for use in control room, studio and OB environments.

The MV-Series is available in three versions and two frame formats. They are the MV-16, which offers up to 16 inputs in 1RU, the MV-64, which offers up to 64 inputs in 3RU and the MV-32 Dual System, in which each system operates independently with up to 32 inputs in 3RU, according to Snell.

The MV-Series features a wide range of easy to configure options including, tile content, size, labels and positioning and may be adjusted along with the background to suit any application, Snell said. In addition, the system allows clocks, timers, timecode readers, UMD’s tallys and event indicators to be displayed as required. The MV series can also be configured to display alarms based on signal content or presence and trigger alarms to Snell’s Centra control and monitoring system, or to external devices, the company said.


TVONE’s CORIOmaster TVONE offers its CORIOmaster, a multiwindow, multi-display processor, said Tony McAhren, TVONE’s product manager.

In addition, a government video producer or broadcaster might be interested in the CORIOmaster because it can be used it for video sets, McAhren said. It can add video to broadcast studios, or to showcase video on the set itself. It can also be used as a multi-viewer for monitoring sources.


Wohler offers its RMQ-230-3G quad split monitor, which enables users to watch video and monitoring data in up to four display windows on a single 23-inch 1920×1080 LED backlight screen.

Wohler’s RMQ-230-3G The RMQ-230 series monitors accept 3G/HD/ SD-SDI, analog composite and HDMI inputs in varying configurations tailored for different monitoring applications and price points, according to Wohler. In addition to enabling mix and match video input formats on a single screen, RMQ-230 monitors can display waveform and vectorscope while also providing audio de-embedding, audio metering of up to eight channels, UMD, timecode and various markers, Wohler said.

While the new Wohler LCD monitor can display video and monitoring features in four uniform areas, broadcasters also can configure the system as a single full screen or with one large and three smaller windows, the latter being ideal for simultaneous PC workstation screen and audio/video confidence monitoring usage, the company said.


Blackmagic Design:

Avitech International Corp.:



RGB Spectrum:

Sierra Video: