Monday, 19 April 2010

Calrec introduces a modular version of its Hydra2 I/O unit.

Calrec has introduced a modular version of its popular Hydra2 I/O unit.

This compact 3U box has 20 slots which take an array of modules, and allows the unit to be designed to a broadcaster’s exact specifications. Its modular nature enables our customers to design and build a network around their specific needs, resulting in a mix of audio interfaces with an extremely high density of connections, saving rack space and cutting costs.

Designed for studio floor and outside broadcast applications, the unit has all audio (including SDI) and control connections (Hydra2 links, GPIO, Serial) located at the front of the unit, with power cables connected at the rear.

Each of the 21 slots is 4HP, or 0.8 inches wide, with one slot being a dedicated Hydra2 interface module. The remaining 20 slots are all available for other audio interfaces. These cards can be made up of:

Mic/line inputs

Line inputs

Line outputs

AES3 inputs (unbalanced)

AES3 outputs (unbalanced)

AES3 inputs & outputs (balanced)

Dual SDI embedder

Dual SDI de-embedder

Card types can be freely mixed, and as it is a Calrec-designed piece of kit, both primary and secondary Hydra 2 links are provided as standard. In addition, two PSU modules provide redundant power, and PSU modules can be hot-swapped without interruption to operation
as can any of the interface cards.

SDI embedders and de-embedders support SD, HD and 3G SDI streams and are able to decode all four groups (16 channels) and later, as well as de-embedding 32 audio channels from 3G SDI as proposed by SMPTE.

To illustrate the density and flexibility of these boxes one such box can deal with:

40 mic/lines on XLR or

80 line inputs and 80 line outputs on DB25s or

80 unbalanced AES3 inputs or 80 unbalanced AES3 outputs on BNC, or combinations thereof or

160 balanced AES3 inputs and 160 balanced AES3 outputs on DB25 or

32 Embedders or 32 de-embedders (for 16 channel de-embedding), or combinations thereof.

As part of the Hydra2 network, each box will be able to deal with 512 bi-directional signals.

The Modular box joins Calrec’s well established range of fixed format boxes on the Hydra2 network, which provides an enormous 8192 ² synchronous router with mini-GBIC connectors allow customers to fit their own cable connectors. Hydra2’s router is a TDM-type router, capable of true 'one-to-many' routing and is truly point-to-point; any input on one router can address an output on any other. This allows for enormous networks with highly flexible topologies involving multiple routers.