NAB Perspectives: Utah Scientific’s Richard Hajdu on Embedded Audio

In today’s media operations, nearly every major broadcaster relies heavily on embedded audio. Though streamlining a broadcaster’s overall system, embedded audio can also make it difficult to shuffle audio channels as needed in larger, integrated facilities, where quick changes to live feeds are common.

In an effort to alleviate this issue, Utah Scientific has introduced embedded-audio signal processing for its popular UTAH-400 series digital routing switchers. According to SVP Richard Hajdu, the new technology, which premieres this week at the NAB Show (Booth N4511), is a direct response to feedback from Utah’s customer base.

“There is so much embedded audio out there now,” says Hajdu. “But, if it stays embedded, you can’t do anything with it or manipulate it. So this new [signal-processing technology] allows us to basically disembed the audio, manipulate it, and re-embed it — all within the video router.”

The new capability comes from a new line of I/O boards that rely on advanced FPGA (field-programmable gate-array) technology to perform signal processing. It allows the I/O board to deserialize and decode a signal into its component data streams without compromising the router’s overall operational reliability. As a result, audio channels are shuffled automatically without an outboard device or manual intervention.

The enhanced UTAH-400 routing systems also incorporate a virtual control panel to provide an easy-to-read display of the video signals and their associated audio positions. The GUI design enables control of digital signal processing and other signal-configuration information.

“We’ve heard a lot about how important audio manipulation within the video router is for sports or news control,” says Hajdu. “This is a direct response to customer demand. Being able to manipulate audio within the video router without the need for any additional [equipment] provides a huge advantage for [our customers].

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