Splitting Image


The traditional CRT monitor stack is now all but consigned to the annals of history. Not the vain claim of some clever marketing agency or the opening pitch of a sharp dressed sales rep but more the demise of a technology that is becoming less and less available. While manufacturers still have a few CRT models available in their portfolio we’ve seen them becoming less and less as the market has moved to different technologies.
As existing CRT monitors go end of life, engineers and facilities are taking this as an opportunity to consider what they expect from their monitoring requirements and to review what options are available to them.
Initially the typical approach to broadcast monitoring was one monitor per channel, simple and straightforward if somewhat cumbersome and inflexible by today’s set-ups. BNCs were connected to the monitor from a patch panel and rarely, if ever, changed. Print outs were attached to the monitors to indicate the source information until the introduction of UMD (under monitor display) LEDs which, while offering an improvement, still resulted in a fairly limited and rigid configuration.
With the evolution of technologies and the increase in demands on capability, externally controlled multiviewer based galleries replaced point-to-point CRT stacks. This approach provided broadcasters with a far greater flexibility to configure displays depending on the importance of the feeds and the requirements of the day.
In an external multiviewer configuration typically a DVI link is used to output the video signal from the multiviewer to the display, this can raise several considerations for integrators, including the proximity of the multiviewer to the monitor, which is limited to 5m unless extenders are used.
Another aspect to external multiviewer technology that systems integrators will also consider is one of picture quality and double processing of the feed. This issue could arise if the signal is scaled both by the external multiviewer unit and then again by the display itself.
The continuous advance in flat panel display technology together with multiviewer equipment has enabled the evolution of monitor banks from what started off life as something that could have been seen to be unwieldy into a fully re-configurable, flexible monitoring environment.
In situations where space considerations are important the more recent emergence of integrated multiviewer capabilities incorporated within a display monitor can offer a notable improvement in performance together with a significant cost advantage.
With obvious benefits in compactness as well as overall power consumption, this configuration offers a further reduction in space requirements by removing the necessity and hence the cost of external multiviewer equipment.
In addition, by preserving an SDI video signal throughout the signal path from the router or patch panel through to the monitor, and thus avoiding the possibility of the signal being double processed, the integrity of the feed is also ensured without compromising picture quality.
This approach lends itself particularly to outside broadcast situations where often a large number of displays are required but with a low number of sources being monitored. In this environment the advantage of a quad-split solution will quickly outweigh those of external multiviewers.
When considering this type of approach it is important to ensure a full range of broadcast features is included. Models such as Kroma’s QS range of quad split units will include HD/SD-SDI with up to 10 auto-detecting inputs with static or dynamic IMD (In Monitor Display) and on screen tally support.
In this configuration audio is also a consideration, expect units to offer built in audio de-embedders with in screen displays. By definition, a quad split display by design cannot display more than 4 sources at any one time, however, another technological development that will increase flexibility to this solution is the ability to expand from a standard stand-alone quad-split to a multiple quad spilt display bank by the incorporation of external ethernet LAN control. The inclusion of a remote access interface will provide both system display configuration and control together with alarm monitoring features and error logging.
When choosing between external or internal mutiviewer configurations, like everything, each solution will have its own benefits and merits for a given situation. Factors that need to be considered include cost, space and flexibility. In the end working with a specialist monitor manufacturer that has established experience in this area may well prove to be the foremost asset in deciding what will work best for a given project.
Maribel Roman is Area Sales Manager for Kroma Telecom
Kroma Telecom are supported and distributed in the UK by Broadcast Service Centre. For more information or to arrange a demonstration contact BSC on +44 (0)118 981 0804

Tags: iss043 | bsc | broadcast service centre | kroma telecom | mutliviewer | crt | lcd | flat panel display technology | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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