Bluebell Opticom launches new multiformat converter card

Bluebell Opticom has introduced the BC364 card. Part of Bluebell’s BC Series of rack-based modular fibre interfaces, the BC364 is a compact rack-mountable multiformat converter for use with a wide range of broadcast video and audio signals. When paired with Bluebell’s ShaxX line of SMPTE hybrid alternative connector kits for broadcast camera systems, the BC364 can multiplex multiple camera links over a single dark fibre.

The BC364 card contains input and output SFP cages, enabling users to adapt the functionality of the unit to suit different applications simply by switching to a different SFP converter module. Signal input and output formats are defined by selecting appropriate standard SFPs that can perform optical and/or electrical format conversions.

The BC364 card can perform an array of functions, from distribution and format conversion to monitoring and wavelength management (including CWDM). Such a wide range of functionality enables the BC364 to act as a toolkit for systems engineers, as well as a high-quality converter for any fixed installation. Multiformat SFPs can convert to and from composite, HDMI, DVI, optical, and 3G-SDI. Units can also be used to convert optical signals from multimode to singlemode, repeat optical signals, or remap wavelengths within existing fibre systems.

“We designed the BC364 card to work with SFP modules because they provide a relatively inexpensive, easily swappable, universal way to make the card serve whatever function is needed in a given situation,” said Paul McCann, Bluebell Opticom managing director. “Importantly, since broadcasters are often looking for ways to put more signals onto less fibre, one of those functions is to act as a CWDM manager. In this way, the BC364 becomes a multiplexer that joins up to 16 cameras with ShaxX units over one pair of fibres.”

In its capacity as a CWDM manager, the BC364 takes in multiple optical signals and retransmits them at a wavelength that can be inserted into a CWDM mux. On the other end of the link, the signals are returned to their individual state. This functionality, coupled with the ShaxX technology, is what makes camera multiplexing possible.

The BC364 card occupies a single slot in the BC100 3-RU, 19-inch rack-mounting frame, which can hold up to 15 single-slot cards. The compact BC160 1-RU frame holds up to six cards. Users can monitor the card and signals through internal Web pages or over SNMP via the BM102 network card. For stand-alone applications, the BC364 can be housed in an individual rugged enclosure.

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