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14 Feb 2017, 14:40

Designed In-Sync with PPL

The PCB Part Library is a service offered for free to all our customers, a place where you can find or request product component models and footprints for inclusion in your latest design, whatever CAD design software you use. Recently Russell Johnson, Director of Hitomi Broadcast had a tricky problem to solve with one of his new designs, PPL came to the rescue, as Russell explains:

Finding the answer

‘I was creating a design at the weekend using Altium PCB software, trying to catch up with some projects that I was running behind on.

I needed to put down a Molex connector in my design which interfaces with a specific PCB we have from one of our partners. I had the datasheet but it looked a bit confusing and I thought what I really need is someone who knows about PCBs. I was browsing the internet and I found that RS Components had this Molex connector in stock and I also found a link on the RS website that mentioned component models and footprints. I couldn’t believe my luck as it’s quite an unusual connector and it mentioned there was an opportunity to request the part.’

Quick Turnaround

‘I didn’t expect much as the Molex connector is not used by many people, it said you can make a donation for £5, but I really wasn’t expecting the turn around to be quick especially on a Sunday. I put the request in on a Sunday afternoon, paid my £5 expecting to wait a day or two but I received my component model Sunday evening! It was done and I was using it in my design!

I was very, very pleased with that and I thought it was an excellent service. The whole concept of having a link on the RS website where you can get component models is a very powerful idea. I have been back since as I know I can get parts there. When you are short of time you can have a look and sure enough, the product is there with a model it’s a great time saver. I noticed the RS pricing was fine compared to other suppliers, it’s a very good marketing tool and a very good idea. Rest assured I will be shouting the virtues of PPL to all my engineering contacts.’

Hitomi Broadcast

Russell explains more about the Hitomi Broadcast service and products…

‘It’s a specialist product that we provide which is aimed at the Broadcasting industry. Have you ever watched a program where the lip sync is off?  It can be annoying as a consumer and a viewer. Most of the world has commercial TV and it’s the advertising that drives it. For large live sporting events, like Wimbledon for example, if you hear the sound of the ball after you see the racket hit the ball it really does spoil the enjoyment. The advertisers see that as poor enough service that they have some legal redress to not pay as much for their adverts. For commercial television events such as the Superbowl the fees can be enormous, it can be millions of dollars, so if the quality of service is poor then the advertisers could say they are not paying for that and there goes your revenue stream.’

Keeping it together

‘Sounds and vision in sync are commercially very important to people in advertising. In America, in particular, they are very hot on this. In recorded events, you have time to sync the audio and visual signals but with live events, they are different every time, sound and vision can be way off. The reason they can be off so much is that vision goes down one path and sound down the other and they go through different equipment, and when you put them back together again, due to the delays in the paths they don’t match up.’

‘At Hitomi Broadcast we produce a device that measures that delay, a test pattern generator essentially. We have come up with a method which embeds a signal in the sound and vision that survives the broadcast change. And on the other end of the chain, we have the reader device which measures the incoming signal. It can read within 12 seconds all 16 channels of audio, and ensure they are all measured with precise figures of alignment between pictures and sound.

This Product has been selling for a year, with a new 4K version launched in September 2016 the Matchbox 4K, which is proving very popular with live sporting events broadcasting in that medium.’

We at DesignSpark would like to thank Russell for taking the time to tell us about his great experience with our PPL service. Why don’t you see what you can find in the PCB Part Library?


For more information:

Hitomi Broadcast

PCB Part Library

Countless years taking things to bits to see how they tick...

14 Feb 2017, 14:40