The SM-2a is an advanced Slow Motion Controller for use with VTR machines on the now standard RS422 serial format. It is intended for use in Broadcast and Professional TV Studios, Outside Broadcast vehicles and similar environments.
Betacam and Betacam SP, Mll and 1 " are all supported, as well as the digital formats D2, D3, D5 and Digital Betacam. The SM-2a is an enhanced version of the SM-2, developed for use with computer-based disk 'VTRs'. It features 999 cue memories, and external GPI inputs and outputs
Cassette format VTR's are difficult to control with any subtlety from the front panel, even with practice. However, smooth and precise control of tape motion is possible with the SM-2a, even by relatively inexperienced operators. The control buttons are large and well spaced out, and are grouped in logical sections for ease of use, especially under 'live' conditions.
Notable facilities are:
Jog-Knob, with SHUTTLE, JOG and VARIABLE modes.
999 Battery-backed Cues, with flexible control and viewing.
Ability to control TWO VTR'S, separately or ganged.
Display of Variable speed, even when in STILL mode.
Four GPI inputs and four GPI outputs, all programmable.
Transfer of cue memories from and to an IBM compatible PC.
The same four shuttle modes are provided as on the SM-1 and SM-2, allowing the operator to move tape at one third speed, 4x speed, 8x speed, or Full speed. 8x speed is about as fast as most cassette VTR's will go whilst giving a viewable picture. This speed is available by pressing two adjacent buttons simultaneously - no twiddling a knob to try and find 8x. All these shuttle speeds are in addition to the shuttle speeds available on the Jog Knob.
The wide range of fixed and variable speeds available enables the operator to locate specific action shots quickly, and replay them at either normal and non-normal speeds. Variable speeds range from -lx to +3x speed, depending upon the VTR under control.
During use, the operator may display either TAPE-TIME or TIMECODE, and the display on the VTR under control is normally made to follow this switch. This facility may be disabled.
Indicator lights tell if a successful RS422 connection has been made, whether or not the VTR is in Remote and whether or not a Tape or Cassette is present. Warning of Record-Lockout is also given, and on some VTR's a warning of nearing the end of tape is given.
There are 999 cues available in the SM-2a, and all are retained when the unit is switched off. Each cue entry increments the cue number, which is displayed on a four-digit alphanumeric display. (It is possible to enter cues without incrementing the cue number, in cue-hold mode. See later.) Cues and times may be entered freely, and searched-to, from any mode except Variable modes. All cues are available to both of the controlled VTR machines.
When the VTR comes out of RECORD mode, an 'OUT' cue is automatically entered with 4 frames subtracted. When replaying a 'SioMo' in VARiable mode, the VTR will stop at this cue point. The primary use for this facility is to prevent running out of replay pictures. However, the cue can be moved, and thus can be used to mark a particular end point to the slo-mo, such as a close up of a goalscorer. On replay, the VTR will stop at the chosen point. The 'OUT' cue may be erased and it may also be ignored. A separate out cue is memorised for each VTR machine under control.
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