Echolab Opera 3416 questions
We recently had an Echolab Opera 3416 switcher donated to us. I have scoured the internet, and not been able to find much info on it.
First off, let me give you an idea of our current set-up; I am in charge of the video board in a junior college basketball arena. We have 4 Sony DXC-D30 cameras connected (via 26-pin cable) to 4 Sony CCU-M5A's. We also have 2 hotronic AP-41 frame syncs (for GoPro cameras).
We also have a Grass Valley Turbo iDDR and a Fast Forward Video Omega Deck for instant replay. All 8 of the sources are fed (via composite) into a Sony BVS-3200 8-input switcher. We also have a Chyron character generator for graphics that is being fed into the External Key/Fill inputs.
Of the info that i have found online about the Echolab 3416, i do know it can accept 16 inputs of any combination of Component, Composite or SDI. Currently all 8 of our sources are composite. All of the Sony CCU's can output component, the Grass Valley iDDR, FFV Omega Deck and the Chyron can output SDI.
I have also heard that the switcher has it's own internal frame syncs for each input. 99% of our problems are genlock related, for example; sources losing phase, and drifting am i right in assuming that using this switcher will allow us to not have to use genlock for each source?
If anyone can give me some feedback it would be greatly appreciated.
I can tell this switcher is an upgrade from what we have, and we would like to be able to have more than the 8 sources we are currently limited to. We have an additional FFV Omega Deck, and an additional Sony DXC-D30 camera and CCU but are unable to use them due to the lack of inputs into the switcher. Additionally our chyron system has 2 outputs, we are only using one of the channels, again due to lack of inputs.
I want to make sure it is what we are looking for before tearing out our current system.
It looks like a nifty little switcher. I don't have any experience with it but after downloading and reading the user manual, it appears as if it should do what you need it to do. One very specific requirement in the manual is the necessity of providing it an SDI digital Blackburst signal. It states that it won't work correctly without one. SDI sync generators are fairly rare. Most equipment will usually work with an analog bi-level or tri-level reference. The manual specifically requires an SDI signal. As long as you will need a reference for the switcher, it would be a good idea to genlock all the rest of your equipment that has the ability to accept a reference input. Timing the system should be much easier than timing an analog system since you only need to get the input source timed within a certain window and the switcher will auto-time it for you.
It would appear that it does have inputs that are frame sync'ed but whether they are full frame or simply delay the incoming video by a single line is not clear. I'm guessing that, in your case, either method should be OK. As for your Chyron, it looks like the switcher has four independent keyers with inputs for both key and fill so you should be able to use both channels without any issues.
The Opera looks like a great little switcher that can handle the transition between analog and SDI as long as standard definition is OK for your purpose.
Not my monkeys. Not my circus.