Crystal Vision launches LKEY3 for simple live graphics

New from Crystal Vision is LKEY 3, a linear keyer designed for the high quality keying of a realtime graphic generated by an external graphics machine over a 3Gbps, HD or SD video stream. LKEY 3 is Crystal Vision’s most advanced linear keyer yet, bringing with it a number of new features including 3Gbps video compatibility, useful system timing functionality (built-in video delay and frame synchronisers) and enhanced masks offering adjustable edge softness. Providing straightforward operation, LKEY 3 is currently Crystal Vision’s most affordable and space-saving solution for the keying of external graphics.

LKEY 3 allows the key to be generated in two different ways. External key mode uses the luminance of a separate key signal and generally provides the highest quality result while allowing complete flexibility in the content of the keyed graphic, including permitting parts of the key to have varied video levels for a semi-transparent effect.

The simpler Self key mode uses the luminance of the Foreground graphic itself to decide where the keying occurs, meaning only one channel is required and it is not necessary to generate a separate key signal which is aligned in position and time with the graphic. After the key is generated, fill video is inserted – usually the Foreground graphic or alternatively black or a colour produced by the internal matte generator.

LKEY 3 offers both additive and multiplicative linear keying, allowing the operator to choose a method to suit the graphics. It is possible to alter how the key signal affects the output image – such as compensating for a key signal which does not have enough amplitude to force full keying – by changing the key gain and offset. LKEY 3 includes flexible internal and external masks – adjustable in position and size – which can be used to prevent keying in particular areas of the picture by masking the visibility of either the Foreground or Background signal. Adjustable edge softness on these masks is useful for blending between masked and unmasked areas for a more natural-looking edge. Masks can also be inverted to force keying to only occur outside a given area.

The keyed graphic can be faded in and out, either manually or as a timed transition – with these fade controls also enabling the graphic to be displayed with a semi-transparent effect. LKEY 3 can also be used to fade the complete programme to black if required.

Any timing errors will be automatically corrected by the frame synchroniser on each input timed to an external Black and Burst or tri-level syncs analogue reference – synchronising sources up to one frame apart for easy system timing. LKEY 3 also includes an additional ten frames of video delay on each input, adjustable in one frame steps and ideal for aligning system processing delays which are greater than a frame – for example, the fill and key coming from a graphics machine may arrive several frames later than the background programme video.

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