Audio/video/control remote switching device

Audio/video/control remote switching device
USOO5838393A
Ulllted States Patent [19]
[11] Patent Number:
Simpson et al.
[45]
[54]
Date of Patent:
5,838,393
Nov. 17, 1998
AUDIO/VIDEO/CONTROL REMOTE
5,255,097 10/1993 Spiero et al. ......................... .. 348/706
SWITCHING DEVICE
5,327,296
7/1994 Nagasawa
5,414,417
5/1995
[75] Inventors: Stuart Richard Simpson, Northridge;
Leomd Abramovlch Grab0vetsky>
..... .. 386/65
Heo .................................. .. 340/825.25
Primary Examiner_sherrie Hsia
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Merchant, Gould, Smith, Edell,
Santa Monica, both of Calif.
Welter & Schmidt
[73] Assignee: StarGrabber LLC, Van Nuys, Calif.
[57]
_
ABSTRACT
An audio/video/control switching apparatus comprised of a
[21] Appl' No" “L536
plurality of switching subsystems. Each of the switching
[22]
subsystems allows an operator to select an input signal from
Filed;
Apt; 12, 1996
6
Int. Cl-
among a ?rst plurality of inputs, to select an output signal
................................................... ..
from a Second plurality of Outputs, and to couple the Selected
[52]
US. Cl. ..................... .. 348/705; 340/825.25; 360/61;
386/65
input signal to the selected output signal. In the preferred
embodiment, each of the switching subsystems handles a
[58]
Field of Search ................................... .. 348/705, 706,
different one of a plurality of signal types, such as composite
348/725, 8, 12, 13, 734, 512; 340/825.24,
825.25; 386/60, 61, 62, 65; H04N 5/268
Video signals, S-video signals, audio signals, time code
signals, and control signals. Acontrol panel is coupled to the
switching subsystems, so that the operator can control the
[56]
References Cited
selection of the input and output signals. The apparatus also
U'S' PATENT DOCUMENTS
includes a circuit that enables the switching subsystems only
when the selected input signal is not coupled to an identical
4,675,757
6/1987 Block ...................................... .. 386/65
4,855,730
8/1989
Venners et a1. .... ..
device as the selected output signal.
340/825.25
5,054,022 10/1991 Van Steenbrugge .................. .. 348/706
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets
21 4-
21 6
22 2°218\ \
224
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234
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— FIRST
232
22§26\\\
—— SWITCH
230 \
———-—
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SELECT
SELECT
ENABLEd
2
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206
202
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CONTROL
CIRCUIT
CONTROL
212
PANEL
INPUT SELECT
/
ENABLE
/
200
/
OUTPUT SELECT
204
/
210
238
SWITCH ‘M
E 4240
4"‘ 242
ENABLE
208 /
236
SECOND
U.S. Patent
Nov. 17, 1998
Sheet 1 of3
5,838,393
FIG. 1
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U.S. Patent
Nov. 17,1998
Sheet 2 of3
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5,838,393
1
2
The sWitching device of the present invention, as shoWn
AUDIO/VIDEO/CONTROL REMOTE
in an eXemplary embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, is com
prised of a main chassis 100 and a control panel 102,
Wherein the main chassis 100 may be placed behind the
operator’s station and the control panel 102 may be on the
operator’s desk. The main chassis 100 is connected to the
control panel 102 through a control cable 104. The sWitching
SWITCHING DEVICE
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention.
This invention relates in general to video-editing systems,
and in particular to an switching device for selecting among
remote input and output audio, video, and control devices.
2. Description of Related Art.
Video editing systems for use in post-production studios
device is comprised of a plurality of sWitching subsystems,
10
outputs, and couple the selected input signal to the selected
output signal. In the preferred embodiment, each of the
sWitching subsystems handles a different signal type.
typically use various source devices and destination devices.
Source devices may provide a variety of signals, including
video signals, audio signals, and control signals. In order to
provide signals from a source device, such as a video tape
player, to a destination device, such as a video tape recorder,
Wherein each of the sWitching subsystems alloWs an opera
tor to select an input signal from among a ?rst plurality of
inputs, select an output signal from a second plurality of
Generally, the signal types are selected from a group com
15
prising composite video signals, S-video signals, audio
signals, time code signals, and control signals, although
separate sWitches are required for each of the signals, audio
those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that other signal types
and control, for example, generated by the video tape player.
Existing routing or sWitching systems, hoWever, require the
may be selected as Well.
operator to manually coordinate the sWitching of the video,
The main chassis 100 has four composite video input
ports 106 and four composite-video output ports 108. These
audio, and control signals. Thus, there is a need in the art for
an improved sWitching system that enables an operator to
ports 106 and 108 use BNC connectors to connect to video
devices, such as video recorders, etc. Any one of the four
input ports 106 can be connected to any one of the four
select With the touch of a button a source device and a
destination device and have all the signals of the source
device automatically provided to the destination device.
output ports 108.
25
The main chassis 100 has four S-video input ports 110 and
four S-video output ports 112. These ports 110 and 112 use
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
DIN connectors to connect to video devices, such as video
To overcome the limitations in the prior art described
above, and to overcome other limitations that Will become
recorders, etc. Any one of the four input ports 110 can be
connected to any one of the four output ports 112.
The main chassis 100 has four sets of audio ports 114,
apparent upon reading and understanding the present
control sWitching apparatus comprised of a plurality of
comprising four channels labelled in the draWing as audio
channels 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each of the sets 114 comprises four
sWitching subsystems. Each of the sWitching subsystems
audio input ports 116 and four audio output ports 118.
speci?cation, the present invention discloses an audio/video/
alloWs an operator to select an input signal from among a 35 Within each set 114, any one of the four input ports 116 can
be connected to any one of the four output ports 118.
?rst plurality of inputs, to select an output signal from a
The main chassis 100 has four time code input ports 120
and four time code output ports 122. These ports 120 and
second plurality of outputs, and to couple the selected input
signal to the selected output signal. In the preferred
embodiment, each of the sWitching subsystems handles a
122 use RCA connectors to connect to devices that either
different one of a plurality of signal types, such as composite
video signals, S-video signals, audio signals, time code
signals, and control signals. Acontrol panel is coupled to the
sWitching subsystems, so that the operator can control the
selection of the input and output signals. The apparatus also
includes a circuit that enables the sWitching subsystems only
When the selected input signal is not coupled to an identical
device as the selected output signal.
45
generate or receive SMPTE time codes to synchroniZe their
operations. Any one of the four input ports 120 can be
connected to any one of the four output ports 122.
The main chassis 100 has four RS-422 full-duplex serial
ports 124. These ports 124 use 9-pin D-type connectors to
connect to both control and peripheral devices, such as
computers, peripheral devices, etc., Wherein the control
devices can control the operation of the peripheral devices.
Any one of the four ports 124 can be connected to any one
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
of the ports 124.
The main chassis 100 also has four auXiliary composite
video input ports 126 and four tWo-channel auXiliary audio
Referring noW to the draWings in Which like reference
numbers represent corresponding parts throughout:
FIG. 1 is a diagram of the hardWare of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating the operation of a
sWitch of this invention; and
FIG. 3 is block diagram illustrating the operation of the
input ports 128. These additional ports alloW the input of
additional video and audio source material.
55
buttons 134. The main source buttons 130 control the
control circuit of this invention.
selection of input ports for the composite video ports 106,
the S-video ports 110, the audio ports 116, the time code
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
ports 120, and the serial ports 124. The destination buttons
134 control the selection of output ports for the composite
video ports 108, the S-video ports 112, the audio ports 118,
the time code ports 122, and the serial ports 124. The
In the folloWing description of the preferred embodiment,
reference is made to the accompanying draWings Which
form a part hereof, and in Which is shoWn by Way of
illustration a speci?c embodiment in Which the invention
may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodi
ments may be utiliZed and structural changes may be made
Without departing from the scope of the present invention.
The control panel 102 has four main source buttons 130,
four auXiliary source buttons 132, and four destination
auXiliary source buttons 132 control the selection of the
65
auXiliary video input ports and the auXiliary audio input
ports.
In order to select material from a source device and
provide the material to a destination device, the operator
5,838,393
3
4
selects one of the main source buttons 130 or one of the
among the four output signals 236, 238, 240 or 242 to four
destinations, such as video tape recorders. The sWitch 234
comprises a 1-to-4-selector (or 1-to-8 selector With only 4
outputs), as is Well knoWn in the art.
For both the ?rst and second sWitch 214 and 234, the
control circuit 206 also provides an enable signal 212 to
enable sWitching When it is determined that the operator has
auxiliary source buttons 132, and one of the destination
buttons 134. As a result of this selection, the video, audio,
and control output signals from the source device is directed
toWard the video, audio and control inputs of the destination
device.
In addition, the control panel 102 has a loop Warning light
136 that indicates When the operator has selected the same
destination device as source device. When the operator
selects identical source and destination devices, the loop
not selected identical source and destination devices on the
control panel 102. If the operator does select identical source
10
Warning light 136 ?ashes and the main chassis 100 does not
close the sWitch, thus preventing possible feedback.
Finally, the main chassis is poWered by 110 V AC poWer
supplied via a standard electrical cable plugged into
grounded socket 138.
15
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an exemplary circuit imple
menting the functions of a control circuit and a sWitching
subsystem according to the present invention. In the pre
ferred embodiment, a single control circuit is used to control
all of the sWitching subsystems. HoWever, a separate sWitch
ing subsystem is provided to sWitch each of the composite
video ports 106 and 108, the S-video ports 110 and 112, the
audio ports 116 and 118, the time code ports 120 and 122,
the serial ports 124, the auxiliary video input ports 126 and
the auXiliary audio input ports 128. All of the sWitching
subsystems are similar, but some changes to the sWitching
subsystem Would be required depending on the type of
source buttons 130 and four auXiliary source buttons 132
have been selected. Also, in the preferred embodiment, the
destination select signal 204 comprises an 4-line signal
indicating Which of the four destination buttons 134 have
25
The control panel 200 generates both a source select
signal 202 and a destination select signal 204 to a control
circuit 206. In the preferred embodiment, the source select
signal 202 comprises an 8-line signal indicating Which of the
four main source buttons 130 and four auXiliary source
35
been selected.
The control circuit 206 receives the source select signal
and the destination select signal and encodes these signals
into a 3-bit input select signal 208, a 2-bit output select
signal 210, and an enable signal 212. Encoder 300 encodes
the input source selection signals 302, 304, 306, 308, 310,
312, 314, and 316 to provide the 3-bit select signal 208;
encoder 318 encodes the destination selection signals 320,
322, 324, 326 to provide the 2-bit output select signal 210.
For eXample, if the input selection signal 306 is high, and
thus the seven remaining input selection signals 302, 304,
308, 310, 312, 314, and 316 are loW, the encoder 300 Will
provide a 3-bit input select signal 208 represented by 010.
Control circuit 206 includes the logic to indicate the loop
Warning When the operator selects identical source and
134 have been selected.
The control circuit 206 receives the source select signal
202 and the destination select signal 204 and encodes these
destination devices. In one embodiment of this invention, as
illustrated in FIG. 3, control panel 102 provides source
selection signals 302, 304, 306, and 308 to XOR gates 328,
330, 332, and 334. Control panel 200 provides destination
selection signals 320, 322, 324, and 326 to XOR gates 302,
304, 306, and 308. The XOR gates 302, 304, 306, and 308
signals into a 3-bit input select signal 208, a 2-bit output
select signal 210, and an enable signal 212. The 3-bit input
select signal 208 has a value corresponding to Which of the
8 lines of the source select signal 202 has been selected, e.g.,
if line 5 is selected, then the 3-bit input select signal 208 has
a value of 101 (binary) or 5 (decimal). Similarly, the 2-bit
output select signal 210 has a value corresponding to Which
of the 4 lines of the destination select signal 204 has been
selected, e.g., if line 2 is selected, then the 2-bit output select
signal 210 has a value of 10 (binary) or 2 (decimal). The
200 generates both a source select signal 202 and a desti
nation select signal 204 to a control circuit 206. In the
preferred embodiment, the source select signal 202 com
prises an 8-line signal indicating Which of the four main
signals being sWitched.
buttons 132 have been selected. Also, in the preferred
embodiment, the destination select signal 204 comprises an
4-line signal indicating Which of the four destination buttons
and destination devices, the enable signal 212 is disabled by
the control circuit 206 to disable the operation of the ?rst and
second sWitches 214 and 234.
FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of
the control circuit 206. As described above, the control panel
45
in combination With OR gates 336, 338, and 340 determine
if the operator selects identical source and destination
devices. If so, an LED 342 Warns the operator and an enable
signal 212 is provided to the sWitches to prevent the sWitches
from making the sWitch. Thus, possible feedback is pre
vented because the control circuit 206 Will not permit a
enable circuit ensures that the same source and destination
source device to have its inputs and outputs coupled
devices have not been selected by the operator. These signals
together.
are then used to control the other elements of the circuit.
This concludes the description of the preferred embodi
ment of the invention. The folloWing paragraphs describe
The 3-bit input select signal 208 causes sWitch 214 to
select among the four or eight output signals 216, 218, 220,
55
222, 224, 226, 228 and 230 from four or eight sources, such
as video tape recorders, to generate a single source signal
voice message or other audible Warning to indicate to the
operator that an identical source and destination device has
sWitched for the S-video ports 110, the time code ports 120,
and the serial ports 124, While eight signals are sWitched for
the composite video ports 106 and the auXiliary video input
ports 126, and the audio ports 116 and the auXiliary audio
been selected. Furthermore, the loop Warning light could be
positioned on the control panel, on the main chassis, or
mounted to another structure for the convenience of the
input ports 128.
234 controlled by the 2-bit output select signal 210. The
2-bit output select signal 210 causes sWitch 234 to select
objects.
Those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that the loop
Warning device could be implemented using a buZZer or
232. The sWitch 214 comprises an 8-to-1 selector, as is Well
knoWn in the art. In the present invention, four signals are
The single source signal 232 is input to a second sWitch
some alternative methods of accomplishing the same
operator.
65
Those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that the sWitching
functions of this invention could easily be modi?ed to
provide sWitching betWeen more or less than the eight
5,838,393
6
5
4. An audio/video/control sWitching apparatus, compris
source devices and four destination devices of this embodi
ment. Furthermore, additional sWitches could be added to
ing:
the chassis to accommodate additional signals beyond the
a plurality of sWitching subsystems, each of the sWitching
subsystems comprising means for selecting an input
signal from among a plurality of inputs, for selecting an
output signal from a plurality of outputs, for encoding
the selected input signal, and for coupling the encoded
selected input signal to the selected output signal,
composite video signals, S-video signals, audio signals, time
code signals, and serial data control signals of the present
embodiment.
Those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that the function of
the control panel could be implemented through a variety
structures for the convenience of the operator. The control
panel could provide Wireless transmission to the main chas
sis or the function of the control panel could be provided by
10
a softWare program running in the memory of a computer.
In summary, the present invention describes a sWitching
device for selecting among remote input and output audio,
video, and control devices. As an editing sWitch, the present
Wherein each of the sWitching subsystems handles a
different one of a plurality of signal types, and the
signal types are selected from a group comprising
composite video signals, S-video signals, audio signals,
control signals from a source device to a destination device.
time code signals, and control signals; and
control means, coupled to the sWitching subsystems, for
controlling the selection of the input and output signals.
5. The audio/video/control sWitching apparatus of claim
In addition, the present invention provides a loop Warning
4, Wherein the control means further comprises means for
light that indicates When the operator chooses a destination
accepting operator input from a control panel and for
controlling the selection of the input and output signals in
invention alloWs an operator to easily select a source device
15
and a destination device. Further, the present invention
provides for simultaneous sWitching of the video, audio, and
identical to the source.
The foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of
response thereto.
the invention has been presented for the purposes of illus
tration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or
to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Many
modi?cations and variations are possible in light of the
above teaching. It is intended that the scope of the invention
be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by the
25
6. The audio/video/control sWitching apparatus of claim
4, further comprising means for enabling the sWitching
subsystems only When the selected input signal is not
coupled to an identical device as the selected output signal.
7. A method of sWitching analog and digital signals,
claims appended hereto.
comprising the steps of selecting an input signal in a
sWitching circuit from among a plurality of inputs to the
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for sWitching analog and digital signals,
sWitching circuit, selecting an output signal in the sWitching
comprising one or more sWitching circuits for selecting an
input signal from among a plurality of inputs, for selecting
circuit from a plurality of outputs from the sWitching circuit,
an output signal from a plurality of outputs, for encoding the
encoding the selected input signal, and coupling the encoded
selected input signal to the selected output signal in the
sWitching circuit, Wherein each of the sWitching circuits
selected input signal, and for coupling the encoded selected
input signal to the selected output signal, Wherein each of the
35
sWitching circuits handles a different one of a plurality of
handles a different one of a plurality of signal types and the
signal types and the signal types are selected from a group
signal types are selected from a group comprising composite
comprising composite video signals, S-video signals, audio
signals, time code signals, and control signals.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a control
video signals, S-video signals, audio signals, time code
signals, and control signals.
panel coupled to the sWitching circuits for controlling the
selection of the input and output signals.
enabling the sWitching circuits only When the selected input
3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising means for
signal is not coupled to an identical device as the selected
enabling the sWitching circuits only When the selected input
signal is not coupled to an identical device as the selected
output signal.
8. The method of claim 7, further comprising the step of
output signal.
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