Sigma Electronics Offers New Line of Audio Signal-Management Tools

Apr 24, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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At NAB, Sigma Electronics unveiled its OctaStream family of AES digital audio signal-management products. Designed to cost-effectively address 8-channel audio and the integration of AES and multichannel digital audio into a DTV stream, the OctaStream family consists of the DA5320 mixer and subframe router, the DA5315 variable delay compensator, the DA5325 sample-rate converter and the SG5605 audio-reference generator.

The series is designed for Sigma’s new S5000 signal-management frame, which allows full, unrestricted access to all modules, and is also capable of hot-swapping of all modules and power supplies. The high-density frame holds up to 10 modules, each with 10 connectors, and allows module status indicators to be fully viewable when the door is installed.

The DA5320 offers timing, mixing and synchronizing solutions for eight individual audio channels from four AES input streams. The unit derives its timing reference from AES input 1/2. The DA5315 sets variable delay up to 10 seconds for each of four independent AES signals on eight channels, and allows delay to be selected in units of seconds or NTSC/PAL frames. The DA5325 serves as the audio equivalent of a video frame synchronizer. The module is designed to retime four asynchronous AES inputs to a local reference while maintaining perfect phase. DA5325 allows selectable conversion of sample rates from 28 to 108 kHz to 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz or can be steered by an external reference. Finally, the SG5605 tracks audio channels by generating AES tone/silence with eight audible channel identifiers. It can operate as stand-alone or may be locked to a master video reference. The unit can generate simultaneous outputs of tone and silence, and features a user-selectable ID timing period that can be turned on or off on a channel-by-channel basis.

All of the modules feature front-panel controls for basic functionality, and include GUI software to control all of the units’ functions when paired with the optional CI705 control interface module.

"There are many systemic technical issues associated with digital audio, and if engineers haven’t faced them yet, they will be facing them soon," said Nigel Spratling, president of Sigma Electronics. "Among them is the fact that the timing relationship between digital video and digital audio is the one that often goes awry. Also, if stations want to deliver a digital multichannel stream, how are they going to manage, manipulate and deliver the content? These are just some of the questions that OctaStream was designed to answer."

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