NVISION and ISIS Group recently completed a unique collaborative project that resulted in a fully integrated routing solution for FotoKem, the Burbank-based supplier of advanced film, video and audio services to the motion picture and television industries. The new integrated routing system enables not only digital audio and video sources to be switched within FotoKem’s new digital intermediate room, but a variety of RGBHVformat video sources that feed flat-panel displays.
Founded in 1963, FotoKem provides color and black and white laboratory services for the world’s leading filmmakers. Recently, the company opened a state-of-the-art digital intermediate room that provides digital scanning, conforming and color correction to film images prior to transfer back to film for public exhibition, video production and digital cinema release.
All operations in the new digital intermediate room are controlled from a Quantel iQ system, explains Paul Chapman, FotoKem’s senior VP of technology: “The iQ system accepts standard-def, high-def or 2k resolution, together with digital audio,” Chapman says. Material can be viewed with an audio soundtrack, enabling sound to be heard with picture during all stages of the image-correction process.
“While our main routing system handles primary ingest and delivery,” Chapman explains, “we needed a way of connecting various sources to and from the iQ system. And, in addition to HD video and audio signals, we had to accommodate a variety of RGBHV-format video sources that connect to a number of flat-panel displays. We soon realized that an integrated routing system was going to be required; one that could handle single-button switching of digital audio and video signals, as well as VGA and high-resolution QXGA video.
”FotoKem specified an NVISION NV5128 Multiformat Router, plus an 8x8 XL858 Five-Level Multimedia Switcher from ISIS capable of handling high-resolution RGBHV signals up to QXGA resolution 2048x1536 pixels). The NV5128 router simultaneously supports all formats in the same frame, and is configured to accommodate 32x32 HD-SDI video, 16x16 AES-format and 48x16 stereo analog audio I/Os; commands are issued from a dedicated NV9000LS Router Control System.
The NV5128 routes HD video signals between iQ inputs and outputs plus companion digital audio signals. Analog RGBHV video sources are handled by the ISIS Multimedia Switcher. “We need to switch analog signals to the NVISION and ISIS Group supply routing solution to FotoKem video projector,” Chapman explains, “as well as 35 mm mag and [Tascam] DA-88 playback. We also have all three formats of cinema processors, with their individual analog outputs. The NV5128 router’s ability to handle single digital audio signals within an AES-format pair is useful, Chapman says. “In this way we can fully access each individualsignal, and route it wherever we need it.”
The Digital intermediate Room’s high resolution QXGA- and VGA-format sources include the Quantel iQ system’s primary menu screen, a Leader High-Definition Scope output, a planned DaVinci Color System, plus other resources to be added in the future. “These various video outputs connect to an array of flat panel displays located directly in front of the operator,” Chapman continues. “Since the LCD displays serves as his direct monitors, we need to ensure that their inputs follow the project.”
Central Control of all Routing Functions Paul Chapman stressed that the two routing systems should be driven by a common control panel. Engineering staff at NVISION and ISIS Group soon exchanged copies of their respective serial-control protocols and, within a short period of time, developed a suitable solution. The equipment was installed in late October 2003 and operational within a few days. Currently, Chapman stresses, all integrated routing is being handled by the NV9000LS Router Control System. “Eventually, we plan to add a control GUI to our FotoKem-designed touch panel, so that the iQ or projection-booth operator can handle switching from other locations.”
“The entire NVISION multiformat router fits into a single frame with its integrated controller,” he concludes. “And the ISIS XL858 RGBHV Switcher is compact, trouble-free and handles everything we need of it. All in all, it has been a great experience working with the NVISION and ISIS Group engineers to develop a fully integrated RGBHV switcher and audio/video routing system. It has worked out very well for us.”
For more information, go to either ISIS Group or NVISION Websites, located at