Snell enterprise level router adds value, scale and IP futureproofing
At NAB 2015, Snell introduced four major developments for its Sirius 800 series enterprise-level, multi-format router range – Input Embedding, 2K x 2K capability, IP routing and a new control panel.
Input embedding is a powerful new development unique to Snell. It enables Sirius 800 users to gain typically 30% more usable ports in the same frame – just by upgrading software and firmware. Input embedding enables any incoming audio channel (embedded, AES or MADI) to be routed via the audio crosspoint rather than looping the finished package from an output back to the input for subsequent distribution to multiple outputs. This means finished packages are created on the video input module, and as can be seen from the attached illustrations, this saves one output and one input, freeing them up for other routing needs. It also eliminates looping cables and saves cost, power and space – a massive gain in efficiency.
With the ever-increasing demand for new channels and services to address audience fragmentation, broadcasters are looking for reassurance that router capacity can be increased to meet this need beyond the already mighty 1152 x 1152 routing capabilities of the current Sirius 850 router. At NAB, Snell announced that the Sirius 850 can now be expanded to 2K x 2K (in fact, 2304 x 2304) by expanding the number of Sirius mainframes using Snell’s proven interconnect technology to provide guaranteed performance at 2K x 2K. This has been achieved with no change to the router core; just new rear panels and control software are required to upgrade. This new capability will be available later this year on both new systems and retrofitted to existing systems.
Controlling all this power and capability is equally vital to smooth operations and at NAB, Snell introduced a brand new control panel with large LCD relegendable buttons. The new control panel delivers all the familiar Snell functionality but with the added benefit of larger text which enhances control assurance in the high-pressure on-air environment.
Finally, Sirius 800 is naturally a central component in Snell’s hybrid IP routing roadmap, and at NAB new IP/SDI and SDI/IP input and output capabilities were announced. These IP modules will coexist alongside SDI ports in the Sirius mainframe, under standard Sirius control – the operator will not need to be aware whether they are working with IP, SDI or both. As with Snell’s other IP developments, multiple codecs will be supported, including VC-2 and SMPTE 2022-6 as well as uncompressed. Proof of concept is expected later this summer with product release scheduled for Q4 2015.
“When we first developed the Sirius routers, we looked not only at what broadcasters needed then, but also forward to how their needs might change and grow over time,” said Alan Smith, Snell Product Manager. “Futureproofing our customers is a central part of the Snell philosophy, and that foresight has given us a uniquely versatile routing platform that can continue to accommodate major developments such as Input embedding, IP routing and expansion to 2K x 2K without having to go back to basics and redesign the whole system.”