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TC Electronic Announces UpCon Hi-Res Audio Upconverter

April 8, 2014
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TC Electronic, a leading developer and manufacturer of professional broadcast audio equipment now adds the option of unbalanced AES connectivity to UpCon, which allows the broadcast stations to choose whether they want to route the entire SDI signal or just the audio via AES through UpCon.

UpCon is a combined and uncompromising upconversion and downmix processor in a single, high-density rack unit. It continuously monitors the channel format of the incoming audio, and if the signal falls back from true 5.1 to stereo, UpCon seamlessly cross-fades into a convincing 5.1 surround upconversion without adding any interruptions or artifacts.

With the ability to upconvert in real time, UpCon is the perfect choice for live transmissions such as sports events where not all audio feeds may be in 5.1 surround.

The AES version of UpCon comes fully loaded with 16 physical channels of unbalanced AES I/O, and by default the first 8 channels are active. Should the station need to utilize even more channels, a license for activating channels 9-16 can be purchased separately.

TC's UnWrap HD algorithm is the go to upconverter for film and mastering professionals. The sheer sound quality achieved during upconversion is unrivalled and can be heard in countless cinema movies and music tracks. UpCon is based on UnWrap HD and shares its ultra low latency as well as its overkill processing resolution.

Loudness Transparency
Contrary to many competing products, the upconverted audio is loudness transparent. Many format converters will output a significantly different signal in terms of perceived loudness compared to the source, but this is not the case with UpCon. Broadcasters often need to stay within certain boundaries according to regulation or recommendation and by letting UpCon handle the conversion from stereo to 5.1, it is possible to stay compliant regardless of the signal's channel format.

Automatic Input Detection, GPI or Metadata
The hardware is based on the TC Electronic DB6 platform and UpCon offers the same extended control possibilities. Ease of use is key and it can detect the incoming signal channel format automatically. In case the engineer wants more manual control, UpCon also offers extensive GPI control, or it can be set up to react to incoming metadata.

UpCon also offers the same expandability as DB6 Multi. It comes with one 3G SDI stream standard, but it can be expanded with one or two optional UpCon 3G cards for a maximum of 3 simultaneous SDI streams – the ultimate cost-effective, high-density solution.

Redundancy and Reliability
It does not matter how well a transmission unit does its job if it is not completely reliable. Being the last line of defense in a live scenario calls for ultimate redundancy and reliability. Therefore, UpCon comes with dual low-noise fans, dual fuses and dual power inlets for feeding the unit from two independent power sources. This way, broadcasters are virtually risk-free of losing signal while on air.

UpCon is by definition inserted at a very critical point of the audio signal path, and it is an 'always on' type of unit that needs to deliver non-stop performance year after year. Should the unlikely event happen that DB6 loses power, transmission will go on thanks to the Relay Bypass feature that passes the stream directly from input to output no matter what happens. Further, if one of the power sources should fail, notification can be given using GPIO or SNMP traps.
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