Cobalt Digital Introduces openGear® Dual-Channel Test Signal Generator With Active Signal Indicator

High-Density Card Is Industry's First openGear Card Capable of Performing Two Tests on Two Separate Paths

Cobalt Digital today announced the 9960-TG2-REF1 3G/HD/SD-SDI dual-channel test signal generator, an openGear® card that sends dual test signals into a facility's video chain in order to ensure the validity of downstream baseband SDI systems. The 9960-TG2-REF1 is the only openGear card that can perform two separate tests on two separate paths. It is also the only such card that generates a "bouncing box" confidence indicator to track the movement of a signal throughout the facility and show whether a test was successful. These unique features increase the card's functionality and can reduce testing costs for broadcast facilities.

The 9960-TG2-REF1 card features a stress-test generator that can intentionally send illegal characters into the video path in order to determine whether the downstream systems will catch them. This feature helps broadcasters find and fix problems along the signal path during testing and setup instead of discovering them after the systems go live.

"Our new test signal generator is another demonstration of Cobalt's high-density approach to product design. That is, we pack as much functionality as possible into our cards so that users can get maximum performance for their money in the densest-possible footprint," said Jesse Foster, Cobalt Digital's product manager. "With its two independent signal generators and the ability to simultaneously generate timecode and bi-level sync — something that wasn't possible on the openGear platform until now — the 9960-TG2-REF1 could potentially do the work of three other cards."


The 9960-TG2-REF1 card can generate video, audio, analog, timecode, data, and other types of test signals that broadcasters use every day. Unlike other openGear test generator cards, the 9960-TG2-REF1 lets users set up dual test packages, which they can run simultaneously on two different paths in order to test different parts of the chain at the same time or feed selectively to a single path. In addition to numerous high-quality industry-standard test patterns, the 9960-TG2-REF1 also provides ANC data generators that are designed to check all standard ANC packages, including CEA-608/708 closed captioning, SMPTE 12M TC, SMPTE 2020 HANC audio, and SMPTE SCTE 104 test packets. A CVBS output offers bi-level reference output, line 21 (CEA-608) closed-captioning, and VITC waveform test sequences.

In another first for the openGear platform, the 9960-TG2-REF1 features bouncing-box animation that serves as an easy-to-use, dynamic raster confidence check. If there is a problem along the signal path, such as with a frame sync generating color bars during a loss of active video, the operator may lose confidence in the actual signal transport. An animated moving box ensures active video is actually passing through the chain. Users can customize trouble slides with text or imported graphics.


"The media and entertainment industry is a fast-paced business that can't afford downtime, so ensuring the validity of the video infrastructure is a challenge many organizations face. Cobalt Digital is one of the most prolific suppliers of openGear solutions that not only solve such problems, but in ways that no other openGear solutions do," said Bob McAlpine, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Cobalt Digital. "The 9960-TG2-REF1 is our latest unique contribution to the very successful openGear platform, with features that make the testing process more efficient, clearer, and less costly for any facility that processes video."

The 9960-TG2-REF1 test-signal generator card fits easily into any openGear system. The same test-signal generator functionality is also available as a 1-RU standalone system — the BBG-1060-TG2-REF1 from Cobalt Digital's Blue Box Group™ family of products. Both products will be available in the second quarter.


About Cobalt Digital
Cobalt Digital Inc. designs and manufactures award-winning 3G/HD/SD conversion, throwdown, and multiviewer technology for the broadcast television environment. As a founding partner in the openGear® initiative, Cobalt offers a full range of openGear platforms as well as video and audio processing cards for closed-caption compliance, production trucks, master control, HD news, signal transport, audio loudness, and color correction. Cobalt's Blue Box Group™ line of interface converter boxes streamlines and simplifies a wide range of 3G/HD/SD conversion tasks. In addition, the company's multi-image display processors enable multiviewer capabilities in the most demanding studio and remote broadcasting environments. Distributed through a worldwide network of dealers, system integrators, and other partnerships, Cobalt Digital products are backed with a five-year warranty.