The Intelligent Breakout Box (iBB) is a dual video switching interface, designed to be used in conjunction with PC-based video graphics insertion generators with internal keyer. It provides a virtually uninterrupted video path for the program video signal during an emergency situation that affects the live graphics insertion, or whenever a maintenance session should require a shutdown of the graphics equipment.
The supervision is built around a watchdog concept: the PC that host the graphics software must send periodically a service pulse, else the iBB logic will time out and automatically switches the graphics video system out of the program path. Such a situation may arise in the event of graphics application or system failure, or when the application or the whole PC graphics system gets shut down intentionally or by accident.
The graphics application must be able to send the service pulse, which consists of an ASCII string sent periodically as HTTP GET command. A graphics application that works already in conjunction with the iBB-2s is Logo Master from Converge Horizons .
Static mode routing is also possible, by means of web server commands, GPI remote contact closure, or front panel manual controls. Either of the static switching mode has higher priority level over the watchdog mechanism and the hardware switching mode has higher priority level than the web server commands, with the front panel controls having the topmost priority.
Each switching section has a programmable power-on default static route, either with PGM IN routed directly to PGM OUT (called PGM Bypass), or with PGM IN routed through the graphics engine and then from the graphics engine back to PGM OUT (called CG Thru route). Without power or in case of power loss, the unit always is or enters the PGM Bypass mode, regardless any programming or remote condition.
The graphics system should initialize the proper route before issuing watchdog service pulses, but it may also force a static CG Thru route or PGM Bypass mode on purpose, if so required by some specific task.
The unit only monitors the commands sent by a software application, it does not monitor the integrity of the video signal.
Although the iBB interface has been designed as a companion for graphics workstations, actually it is a stand-alone equipment that may fit other purposes as well. Current implementation includes two video switching sections, which is reflected in the product name: iBB-2s, where the “-2s” stands for 2 sections.
- Two SD or HD video switching sections, operating independently or in dual link mode
- Watchdog mode or Static mode operation provided for each section:
- Watchdog is driven by a service pulse that have to be sent periodically by an external software application over the local area network
- Static mode can force CG Thru routing or PGM Bypass by sending explicit commands to the internal web server, or by closing a contact on the GPI remote control connector, or by using the front panel buttons
- Watchdog timeout is software selectable between 2, 4, 8 and 16 seconds steps
- Configuration and watchdog service pulse are sent over network as HTTP GET commands (the recommended method) or UDP commands
- The unit monitors only the software commands sent by a software application over the network, not the integrity of the video signal
- The physical video switch is passive, based on 3GHz HF relays with 75ohm nominal impedance
- Relays contacts set and reset time is 10 ms max.
- Each section accepts any video format up to HD 1080i 59.94
- The video switching is asynchronous, with no reference to the video signal
- In case of power failure or by simply switching the unit power OFF, the video will always switch to PGM Bypass mode
- In case the static mode is not used for a given section, the web server commands for that section can be disabled via DIP-switches on the rear panel, as an additional security measure for that video switching path
- Hardware static switching remains always available, regardless the web server enabled or disabled status
- Actual status of each section is indicated by a LED color on both front and rear panel; a technical operator can spot the actual video routing status even when servicing behind the equipment rack
- Each GPI remote input (static mode) is triggered by connecting it to the GPI common 0V rail, which in turn is common with the chassis ground
Note: the user must provide the external remote control hardware
- All GPI inputs are internally tied to +5V with pull-up resistors
- Front panel controls (static mode) are intended (but not limited) to be used for maintenance
- Front panel control buttons are designed to be difficult to be accidentally switched
- Emphasis is set on hardware logic circuits, minimizing software influence
- Configuration web pages and HTTP GET commands can be set to require authentication, to prevent unauthorized access
- The network interface can be configured for DHCP or static IP address
- Option for redundant power supply: version iBB-2s-2p product name, where the “-2p” stands for 2 power supplies
Main features and technical specifications are available will be available as a .pdf file.
Note: the document is available in English language only.