Test and Measurement News
Studio Technologies test Model 212 Digital Announcer's Console with Prism Sound dScope Series IIIUS - February 2006 Studio Technologies Model 212 Digital Announcer's Console is designed for television announcers, commentators, and production talent. With its digital audio input and output resources the tabletop unit is well suited for numerous applications including on-air television sports broadcasting.
The unit incorporates analogue and digital interfaces and testing needs to be performed for all combinations of analogue and digital input and output. In addition to the traditional analogue audio tests of frequency response, noise and distortion, checks are also needed for digital interface conformance as well as bit-transparency.
When Randy Kelso of Studio Technologies set about the task of finding a suitable test solution, he was particularly looking for a something that could integrate all of the test capabilities needed.
dScope Series III at Studio Technologies
Prism Sound's compact and cost-effective dScope Series III audio test and measurement tool has long been a favourite with Studio Technologies. The company, acquired its first dScope in 2002 and now has standardised on these units for use at its manufacturing plant in Skokie, IL.
"Prism Sound's dScope Series III is really easy to use and gives us great return on our investment for the test & measurement solutions we require." says Randy.
In addition to being able to test all of the necessary parameters during the product development phase, Randy was also looking for a system that enabled rapid deployment as a production test system.
The production test requirement demands an additional software application commonly described as an "automation executive". This type of application usually provides real-time management of the test process, management of test data including test limits and results and printing of test reports. Randy continues: "Recently we've become the first company in the US to use dScope with the AutoTestSQL automation executive for production test."
The Prism Sound dScope Series III can operate with Prism Sound's own executive called "AutoTestSQL" as well as with National Instruments TestStand. Both provide a run-time user-interface designed for production test as well as test sequence definition and execution, database interfacing and reporting.
The Prism Sound dScope Series III, with the dS-NET-IOSW and 16:2 switcher accessory offered a complete solution at a highly competitive price. Coupled with the extensive engineering support available directly from the expert team at Prism Sound and an off-the-shelf solution for the automation executive, Randy was able to bring a production test solution on-line with minimal engineering effort.
multi-tone testing for minimal test time
Using the advanced multi-tone capability of the Prism Sound dScope Series III, Randy was able to create a test sequence that runs much more quickly than would be the case using conventional methods - test time for the Model 212 Digital Announcer's Console has been reduced from about 25 minutes using the conventional approach to just 8 minutes.
In addition to speed, the dScope's multi-tone capability provides a highly comprehensive test capability as well, so that control of product quality is not sacrificed for the sake of a shorter test time. Randy comments: "Our aim at Studio Technologies is to provide solid, reliable audio products, designed for serious professionals. We cannot compromise on quality or reliability and a thorough production test process is vital in order to meet our business objectives and those of our customers."
For digital-to-digital tests, Randy was able to take advantage of the dScope's "Channel Check" feature where digital transparency can be established very quickly with a bit-error test. This saves considerable time over traditional methods such as performing distortion, noise and frequency response tests. Surprisingly, many popular test systems do not include the "bit-test" feature although it can be found on much more expensive test equipment.
Using the Prism Sound I/O switcher accessory (dS-NET-IOSW), Randy was able to provide multi-channel test capability as well as incorporating integrated DC measurement for the Model 212 Digital Announcer's Console microphone phantom power supply and internal voltage rails.
Prism Sound demonstration
To aid its own demonstrations, Prism Sound has acquired a Model 212 Digital Announcer's Console from Studio Technologies. It will form part of a dScope production test demonstration at the Prism Sound Test & Measurement booth at the 2006 NAB show in Las Vegas.
Doug Ordon, Prism Sound's US sales representative for test and measurement products, says: "We were looking for a way to show how great a solution the dScope Series III is when we hit upon the idea of using a real-life example. The Studio Technologies Model 212 Digital Announcer's Console test procedure is a great way to show off the speed and ease of use of dScope." Launched in 2002, Prism Sound's dScope is suitable for a wide range of digital and analogue audio applications and is used in many market sectors including broadcast, multimedia, CD, DVD, computer audio, transducer, digital telephony and communications. It is comprehensive and accurate for R&D, portable and intuitive for maintenance and field service, and fast, automatic and IT-friendly for the production line. As well as covering the traditional audio test functions, dScope incorporates the important new features needed to work with the latest audio technologies. These include digital interface test tools such as carrier waveform and eye-pattern display, jitter measurement and AES3/IEC60958 channel status generation and analysis as well as support for higher sampling rates. dScope has a uniquely simple, state-of-the-art synchronous multi-tone capability, which can measure dozens of parameters simultaneously.
To ask about how to build production test solutions with dScope or any other topic in this article, please fill in our "ask a question" form on the left of this page.
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