NAB 2017: New Cobalt Digital Channel Integrator Provides Single Point of Processing and Control
Cobalt Digital (N3308) has launched Channel Integrator, which provides a single point of audio and video processing and control for converting a wide range of input sources and protocols to the desired outbound configuration. With Channel Integrator, Cobalt has combined more features and processes into a single system than any other manufacturer, enabling operators to consolidate workflows, eliminate multiple rack units of equipment, and consume less power.
Channel Integrator is designed for terrestrial over-the-air, direct-broadcast satellite, postproduction, and remote-production environments, as well as terrestrial cable/multiple-system operators and OTT internet-streaming providers. The high-density system can accept changing input formats (SD and HD) and detect and convert them to the specified output raster extremely. As a result, it takes fewer converters to perform upstream conversions, and the unit can input format changes gracefully with minimal disruption to the output picture. The unit can also use AFD (Active Format Descriptor) metadata to ensure an ideal output raster, eliminating the possibility of problematic output such as a “postage stamp” image with black bars on the top, bottom, and sides.
Channel Integrator incorporates several other important processes:
Optional linear frame-rate standards conversion allows the unit to accept and output video standards, such as PAL to NTSC and vice versa or HD 50 Hz to 60 Hz signals and vice versa. This functionality means that Channel Integrator serves as a universal video processor that can adapt a foreign input video standard to meet the required output video standard.
Mosquito and block noise reduction yield an ideal output image that optimizes downstream video compression. Because downstream MPEG-2, H.264, or HEVC encoders don’t need to encode noise artifacts, the result is a lower-bitrate, higher-quality encode. As a complement, Channel Integrator also includes a detail-enhancement function, which enhances the appearance of edges and textures without enhancing the noise.
Integrated audio processing comes in the form of support for Linear Acoustic UpMax stereo–to–surround-sound upmixing; Dolby E, AC-3, and E-AC-3 encoding, transcoding, and encoding; and Dolby real-time loudness leveling (RTLL). Additionally, the unit offers a wide range of routing, mixing, downmixing, and audio-processing controls, such as gain, inversion, and per-channel delay.
Channel Integrator also offers RGB color correction and YCbCr video processing for color matching and optimization, and frame-accurate DPI trigger insertion. Furthermore, composite analog video and analog inputs and outputs allow integration to legacy systems, making Channel Integrator an ideal solution for operators in evolving markets that are still transitioning from analog to digital.
Because Channel Integrator can be configured to recall settings automatically based on predefined input states, users can set it and forget it. The product is compatible with Cobalt’s OGCP-9000 Series of remote-control panels and the openGear DashBoard GUI, both of which can be configured to expose only the controls and status indicators pertinent to the operator. The unit is also SNMP-enabled and can be run under automation control.
Channel Integrator is available as a 9902-UDX-DSP-CI openGear card deployed with a passive rear module in a 20-slot openGear frame. Optionally, an expanded rear module is available that allows additional analog audio I/O along with a SFP+ cage that paves the way for HDMI input or output; fiber-optic transmission, receiving, or transceiving; or a SMPTE 2110/2022-6 encapsulator or de-encapsulator. With the optional expanded rear module, the Channel Integrator’s channel density is reduced to 10 channels of processing per 2RU.
“Cobalt is well-known for offering the highest-quality signal processing in the smallest footprints possible, and the comprehensive Channel Integrator is the culmination of Cobalt’s expertise in this area,” says Jesse Foster, director, product and business development, Cobalt Digital. “With it, customers get a small footprint, highly integrated video up/down/cross-scaling, frame sync, and an advanced video- and audio-signal processor in their choice of form factors.”