To Infinity and beyond: Studer Vista X is giant processing leap

The company is calling Vista X “enormous step forward in large-scale mixing console technology for broadcast applications”.
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With a launch that the company is calling an “enormous step forward in large-scale mixing console technology for broadcast applications”, Studer will introduce the Vista X (“ten”) digital console and Infinity Processing Engine to broadcast technology specialists in New York today.

Up to 100 invited guests are expected to gather at All Mobile Video Chelsea Television Studios this evening as Andy Trott (VP and GM, Soundcraft Studer) and Peter Glaettli (head of Studer R&D) present the system, which has been designed at Studer HQ in Regensdorf, Switzerland and built in Potters Bar, UK.

The Vista X (above), says Harman-owned Studer, offers an “unsurpassed intuitive user interface, retaining the patented Vistonics and FaderGlow user interface [seen other other Vista consoles], providing control of 800 or more audio DSP channels and more than 5,000 inputs and outputs”.

At the heart of the system is the Infinity DSP core, which uses CPU-based processors to provide huge numbers of DSP channels for large-scale, high-resolution audio processing and mixing. Studer reports that this is the first time more than 800 audio channels have been processed in a single CPU-based board.

Eschewing current trends for SHARC or FPGA chips, Studer says its approach offers “significant advantages, as CPU processing provides a scalable system, faster development of new signal processing designs, huge channel counts, full system redundancy without a single point of failure and the possibility of running third-party algorithms”.

Infinity employs A-Link, a fibre-based audio protocol that uses a 3GBit/s data rate to offer 1,536 audio channels per connection with 32-bit standard AES timeslots. The Infinity DSP engine in Vista X provides 12 A-Link digital audio interfaces, providing more than 5,000 inputs and outputs.

A newly designed high-density I/O system, D23m, is used to break out these A-Link connections to standard analogue, digital and video interfaces. The A-Link interface also provides direct connection to the Riedel MediorNet distributed router, allowing many Infinity systems to be connected together with router capacities of 10,000 x 10,000 or more.

Soundcraft and Riedel agreed to collaborate on developing MediorNet-based tools in 2012. The Vista X console features four processors, offering complete redundancy of the control surface.

Now, the Infinity Core, with a combination of CPU-based DSP and A-Link audio interfaces, offers N+1 redundancy of the DSP engine and I/O with instant switch-over between main and standby system without a break in audio transmission.

Vista X with Infinity Core and D23m will ship in April 2014.



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