Crystal Vision has released what it describes as the industry’s first dedicated picture-in-picture device. 

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Crystal Vision: M-PIP device can be used with both IP and SDI playout workflows

Designed for IP or SDI playout applications that require one or two picture-in-picture boxes to be inset on the main programme, the M-PIP app allows two input flows to be sized and positioned in advance and then layered over either the third input flow or an internal matte generator.

The M-PIP can be used with IP (SMPTE ST 2022 and ST 2110 video), with SDI, or with both IP and SDI at the same time. It takes the form of a software app that runs on the MARBLE-V1 media processor hardware – a card housed in the Vision frame which features a CPU/GPU processor as well as both SDI and 10GbE IP network interface connections.

Picture-in-picture functionality has previously only been available as part of some production mixers, channel-in-a-box systems and master control mixers. As a dedicated double box generator, the M-PIP therefore provides a cost-effective solution for those who only require picture-in-picture functionality. It can also be used to add extra capability to a standard playout or studio system.

Up to two boxes can be inset on the programme or matte background when required, either by selecting the required foreground flow source or by using preset recall. Controls are available to independently size and position the two boxes on the screen, as well as to manipulate the size and position of the images inside those boxes. A coloured border, as well as edge softness, can be applied to each box if required.

The M-PIP provides 16 presets which can be used to create and store different looks for the boxes and then be recalled by using Crystal Vision’s ASCII or JSON protocols in conjunction with the broadcaster’s own control system, or alternatively by using the company’s VisionWeb control software.

Other features include the provision of an individual test pattern generator with each of the three inputs, which can be helpful during set-up if video flows are not available.

Philip Scofield, managing director of Crystal Vision, commented: “The M-PIP is a great example of the apps that Crystal Vision can develop for MARBLE-V1. It was originally created for a large individual application where it provided the only video processing required. However, its flexibility means it can be used in many applications, either on its own or to add functionality when using other equipment.”