Component version of Stream Alpha Titler with Extended Software.
Stream Alpha cards and the Alpha Pro 2.0 software can be use in a wide range of applications:
- TV programs titling during editing and live broadcasting;
- TV program logotypes production;
- automated screening of current time, temperature, atmospheric pressure, and other similar information (additional equipment required);
- audience telephone polls during live broadcasts (additional equipment required);
- informational and graphical design of sports broadcasts;
- generation of various digital and analog clocks and timers;
- pre-scheduled broadcasting of informational and advertisement blocks;
- animation and video clips playback (in 4:4:4, 4:2:2, DV type 2, and AVI formats);
Stream Alpha Component title creating card is designed for working with component YUV signal. New 10 bit digital-to-analog converter with 4x oversampling is used for graphics generation. The card works on 32 bit PCI bus and has 64 bit bus memory.
The card has completely digital path of graphics generation, it can work both in analog and digital mixing mode. In the digital mode input signal is digitized, mixed with graphics and transferred to the output. Signal delay is about 25 Oms. In the digital mixing mode input signal can be bot Component YUV or RGB, or Composite, and S-Video. In the latter case the signal is decoded using the state-of-the-art Philips decoder. This decoder uses split adaptive filter (<>) for separating brightness and color signals.
In the analog mixing mode the card superimposes graphics on the passing signal in Component YUV or RGB formats using alpha channel with palette. Due to alpha channel individual transparency can be assigned to every image point. Palette makes it possible to change this transparency in the course of work, for example for applying Fade in/out effects without alpha channel copying.
The card has a stand-alone synchro generator that switches on automatically in absence of a synchronizing signal. On computer switch off or if BYPASS mode is on for all devices input and output are locked through relay, the 75 Om load being switched off. There is a separate syncro input and Composite (PAL) output. Computer graphics superposition over TV-image can be effected either within the card or with the help of an external mixer using key signal generated by the card. Alpha channel (Key) output is provided for that purpose.
Alpha Pro 2.0, operating in Windows 98/2000 media enables creating scenarios (title sequences to be output with various effects) and play them back through the device for computer graphics superposition over TV/video signal. From the user's point of view it resembles a multi-window text processor, in which several scenarios can be edited and kept ready for output simultaneously. Besides, the same scenario can be opened in several separate windows, which simplifies text changing procedure in its various parts.
A scenario is paged, number of pages being unlimited. An individual video effect is related to every page determining its appearance, motion and fading out from video screen. The following effect types are supported: vertical text moving from bottom to top, Drum, Roll, infinite page moving horizontally from right to left (Creeping Line), Crawl, static page Cross Fade with a pause for display, Wipe, including user-defined, with adjustable transition softness, animation playback over static pages, effects with operating areas restricted to a certain part of the screen, animation symbols in Roll or Crawl pages. User-defined parameters for video effects are application area, speed and delay duration.
Alpha Pro 2.0 extended version provides for object management be external applications, including user developed programs. That comprises programs written in Microsoft Office VBA script language, including Word, Excel and Access scenarios, programs in Visual Basic, Web-pages containing scenarios in VBScript, and programs written in Delphi and Visual C++. That enables the user to play back the required pages at the required moment with program modifications in the course of playback (for real-time presentation of any information input to the computer). If computers with video cards are connected into a network, centralized output control from one program is possible.
Broadcasting arrangement design is set up in the form of templates that may be prepared beforehand and/or edited on air. Real-time data are merged into the template immediately at the playback moment. A function is provided for automatic screen update synchronously with input data updates. A system of any capacity may be constructed out of standard equipment (IBM PC, video cards) and can be reconfigured if necessary. The user edits templates as desired and if necessary can write his own Visual Basic, VBScript or VBA programs for his specific tasks.
Using VBscript language in-built in the Internet Explorer it is possible to concentrate program control within one or several HTML pages comprising text boxes and operation buttons. For example, the textbox Surname and two buttons, Show and Hide. Through writing the appropriate scenario and preparing Alpha Pro page templates it is possible to set exactly the design style (background, font for surname display) and effects for its appearance and fading out. That way we get the control panel without distracting foreign control elements.
Having prepared page templates based on broadcast design style and written the management scenario in Visual Basic, it is possible to broadcast appropriate pages at the right moment making software changes directly at the moment of broadcasting (for real-time presentation of any input data). It solves the design problems of sport translation, game shows, etc. The same approach enables telephone polling broadcasting by installing required amount of modems into the computer or using a dedicated card for the purpose.
With a high-precision time-code source in SMPTE/EBU format it is possible to program schedule of page broadcasting time specifying calendar functions and precision up to one frame, which enables automated airing simple commercial inserts (creeping line, logo, animation logo). User interface (HTML page) can be tailored by yourself so as to exclude all incidents in the course of broadcasting, keeping strictly necessary functions only (title text choice from the list, broadcast title, hide title).