Regardless of whether you find yourself in a house of worship, corporate boardroom, or a live staged event, more clients these days are expecting to accomplish system tasks of greater sophistication and complexity. As part of this trend, techniques borrowed from the broadcast industry like text and image insertion, chroma keying, and the use of picture-in-picture (PIP) features are now common elements.
TV One's CC-300 hardware-based controller borrows concepts from the broadcast industry to be used in the commercial AV world of corporate presentations and house of worship functions
As technology's role expands in these environments, a clear need has developed for control aspects to begin catching up. Erlanger, KY-based TV One is one of the first to address this issue in a way that is both intuitively easy and affordable.
"Today, people are demanding much more from AV systems in terms of capabilities," said TV One's CEO David Barnes, an industry veteran who has built a career upon untangling technologies. "At the same time, they want to realize their goals simply without a lot of hassle and effort. Technology has to be transparent and easy enough for just about anyone to use."
To better meet client demands for increased functionality, TV One has contributed greatly to the cause with products from its C2-7000 Series of dual-channel, multi-format processors. Beyond versatile conversion capabilities covering everything from analog to HD-SDI, the C2-7000 Series houses the power of many other components ranging from a high-definition video scaler and seamless switcher to a twin window picture-in-picture device, chroma/luma keyer, aspect ratio converter, logo inserter, and much more. Serving as the central force guiding each C2-7000 device are two completely independent scaling engines and two video mixers all utilizing TV One's proprietary CORIO2 technology.
The secret behind the flexibility afforded by TV One's CORIO2 circuitry is rooted in a dynamically reprogrammable design that transcends the fixed capabilities of third-party chip sets commonly found in traditional video processors. "CORIO2 technology allows us to exceed the power of any other multi-format video processor on the market," Barnes pointed out. "You could compare the functionality of the C2-7000 Series to some $50,000 devices, but even those come up short of what the C2-7000 lineup can do for significantly less."
Each offering the power of about 25 different products in one rackmount unit, C2-7000 Series components were nonetheless made simple to use with TV One's introduction earlier this year of a hardware-based controller called the CC-300, a component that once again draws its strength from proprietary CORIO2 circuitry. Conceptually the same and bearing a distinct resemblance to a standard video production switcher, anyone familiar with a fader bar, joystick, and pushbuttons can utilize the CC-300 platform to quickly make TV One's C2-7000 Series products (as well as the entire range of TV One's other C2 Series catalog items) jump through hoops with ease.
"The CC-300 is an expression of a need we recognized to develop an interface that both amateurs and professionals could use to quickly and effortlessly access our technologies," Barnes related. "Many of our products wind up in houses of worship and other environments where volunteer operators are commonly taking the helm of systems operations. With the CC-300 and around 15 minutes of training, just about anyone can take control of a video production or switch an event."
Central to the user-friendliness of the CC-300 controller is a conceptual philosophy that steers away from a vertically constructed approach that forces operators to click through a forest of onscreen pull-down menus to find the functions they need.
"The CC-300's user interface is horizontal by nature," Barnes explained. "Broadcast-quality pushbuttons at the bottom of the controller provide input selection plus program and preview functions. Two more rows of pushbuttons at each side of the screen place all individual functions such as PIP capabilities and keying at your fingertips. Once you press a button for a specific function within the latter groups, the screen illuminates and all related menus for that function are shown. Individual tasks are then performed via rows of soft buttons identified onscreen. Even the execution of long macro-sequences is easy with this device, and for those accustomed to joystick control, one has been placed to the left of the LCD screen that can be used for moving windows, setting levels, and anything else you'd commonly do with arrow keys."
A single CC-300 operated in a hardwired configuration can control multiple C2 Series devices via Ethernet by using an IP address or RS-232. The controller can also be interfaced directly with the entire range of Calypso Control Systems products to effectively become a comprehensive event controller offering control of any other device using an IP address, RS-232, RS-422, or an infrared or GPI trigger.
The CC-300's keys and control buttons are equipped with adjustable light levels to compensate for the darkened nature of control and presentation rooms. And, like all other CORIO2 products, the CC-300 is firmware upgradable, making it an easy proposition to download new features as they're developed simply by visiting TV One's website. To date, no other controller on the market offers the CC-300's built-in machine control nor the full-range of other capabilities found onboard.
"We set out to build a truly universal control platform with the CC-300 that isn't expensive," Barnes said. "Someone told me once that using the CC-300 is like being able to operate the space shuttle with automobile controls. I think that pretty much sums up our intent, and it's a philosophy I think we all need to carry into the future as an industry."