PESA Advances Audio Distributed Routing

PESA will unveil its new Cheetah Enterprise Audio Routing System (EARS) architecture at NAB 2011. Based on PESA’s award winning DRS Audio Distributed Routing System, the new Cheetah DRS-EARS is a third generation system that can now be configured up to a massive 6144 X 6144 and beyond.

“The new Cheetah Enterprise Audio Routing System is a robust and reliable system that adapts all the features audio professionals demand in a large scale audio distribution system,” says Keith Bond, PESA’s Vice President of Product Development. “Many broadcasters and mobile production engineers understand the competitive advantage gained through the efficient exchange of distributed audio through our routers and control system. Field proven in hundreds of installations worldwide, PESA routing and control systems have proven to be an ideal package for mission critical applications.”

PESA says the Cheetah DRS-EARS revolutionizes audio distribution by removing the boundaries between mixed signal formats as it doesn’t just route the content but delivers it anywhere and any way needed. Users can integrate AES/EBU, Analog Audio, MADI and Time Code all within one distributed system.

Dan Holland, PESA, VP of product marketing, says audio routing has evolved from crosspoint routers that were large and expensive to TDM (Time Domain Multiplexing) routers that are smaller and much less expensive.

“We saw the need and opportunity to make the next step in the evolution and created a Distributed Routing System that used attributes of both TDM and packet routers,” says Holland. “Based on PESA’s new 1RU modular frame concept, the rules for conventional chassis packaging with all wiring going to and from the main router change. This modular architecture makes it easy to tailor a system to fit your specific needs.”

By allowing up to 128 inputs or outputs to be placed in different locations, systems can be built to maximize efficiency in cable management. Using Gig-E for data packet distribution, an input frame and output frame are connected up to 300 feet away from the main processing frame using only one RJ-45 cable or miles away using a single fiber optic connection.

The EARS Data Exchange Engine (DXE) supports up to 24 ports in 1RU and can interconnect frames to build a system up to 1536 X 1536 mono. Additionally, the EARS-DXE provides optional fiber optic interconnects for easy system expansion. By connecting four DXE modules together, audio systems up to 6144 X 6144 mono can be achieved. The flexible architecture of the EARS DXE chassis will allow future expansion up to 12,288 inputs and 12,288 outputs.

Holland says the EARS package provides all the essential signal processing features needed to distribute AES3, AES3id, Time Code, Analog Audio and MADI in one frame and without the need for external converters. Any input type is converted to a packet stream and can be switched as stereo pairs or as two independent mono analog channels. Control and diagnostic features include sample rate conversion, gain and phase inversion, level adjustments for every input and output path. Paired channels can be swapped, summed or subtracted and variable delay can be assigned to any input or output path based on video frames or seconds.

Each EARS-DXE can be configured for complete system redundancy of the data paths. A second interconnect on each DXE allows for two parallel data paths in the event signals are lost on the primary path. Each frame supports redundant power, redundant control, and quick access front loadable, hot swappable matrix cards. Frames are available in a variety of interconnect options which include BNC’s, ELCO or 6-Pin Pluggable connectors for AES, Analog Audio and Time Code.

The Cheetah DRS-EARS router operates with PESA’s PERC2000 control system for router configuration and customization. Additionally, each DRS-EARS system can be monitored and controlled via Cattrax, a Windows® based network management software package for unified control management of all PESA routers and control system components.

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