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Responding to typical booth visitor questions at NAB and IBC by Gordon Kapes, Studio Technologies S tudio Technologies, the manufacturer of tailored, high- performance video, audio and fiber optic products for the professional audio and broadcast markets, has been building equipment to address the production needs of broadcast professionals for over 30 years. The following is a compilation of questions posed by visitors to the Studio Technologies booth at major trade shows. Q. This is my first experience with Studio Technologies. What is this company all about? A. Studio Technologies, Inc. was founded in the late 1970’s to build audio products for recording studio applications. These products had to have the star audio quality necessary to be accepted by users that had big demands for great sound. We carry that tradition on today through our product lines that deal with audio. During the 1980’s products were added for the broadcast market with the focus staying on audio. As the years moved on, the broadcast market was where we chose to expend most of our energy. We really liked developing the unique equipment required to meet these application challenges. With our high-quality audio 60 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE background, we refused to believe that users had to accept the mediocre audio quality that was typically provided. We developed equipment that followed our philosophy with excellent results. Whether a signal is intended for on-air use or just crew inter-communications, good audio quality is imperative in achieving optimal results. In the past few years we’ve added video and fiber-optic products to our product line, but the core belief that doing it “right” remains for everything we produce. Q. We’ve heard about your Model 400 SDI-over-Fiber transport units – what makes these products unique? A. It’s pretty common these days to transport broadcast-standard SDI (digital video) signals over single-mode fiber optical cable. For single-channel or low-cost applications there are many small electrical-to-optical and optical-to- electrical converters available from a variety of manufacturers. Some are especially rugged, some are built for price-sensitive applications and, for the most part, they’ll do a decent job when conditions are not demanding, but they are quite limited in capability. And in the field, while the tiny converters offered by some companies may be sexy and perform well, they can often disappear during show tear downs! Card- and rack- based products are also available that are especially suited for infrastructure applications. While not optimized for mobile or field broadcast use, they can offer lots of options, including remote management, flexible optical multiplexing and redundant powering. The Model 400’s niche is to meet the needs of broadcasters and video production applications that have a unique range of requirements: rugged and reliable, simple to deploy, flexible to use, offer moderate multiplexing and are operationally simple to understand but with feature depth. Q. How do these units work in the field? A. The Model 400 uses the standard form-factor of a single rack space (1RU), ensuring that finding a portable or fixed mounting location won’t be an issue and the lightweight aluminum enclosure makes each unit easy to transport. Model 400 units can be ordered with a range of SDI channel counts and optical input and optical output resources. At the factory the units are configured with the appropriate circuit boards and passive optical components. Once a unit arrives for an application, it’s a simple matter of applying power, making the required SDI connections using standard BNC connectors and connecting into the designated optical fibers. The Model 400 will begin its core function of SDI transport over fiber without any required configuration settings, reading of the graphical display or connecting an Ethernet cable for remote access. But as other more intensive application requirements arise, the Model 400 can meet the challenge. The range of parameters that can be monitored (locally using the front-panel display, via web pages or even SNMP) is extensive. Many operating modes can be adjusted, including manual and automatic control of the optical output signals. Providing the unit’s required power is both simple and elegant. A source of AC mains, 100-240 volts 50/60Hz, can be directly connected. Alternately, a source of 10-18 volts DC power, typically from a battery, can be used. If both are connected