The heart of a TallyEngine system is tally indication and GPI/O routing. On-Air tally information is taken from one or more production switchers, and fed via user-controlled paths to tally LEDs, Camera Control Units (CCUs), Under Monitor Displays (physical hardware or Under Monitor Display virtual), and a variety of other devices throughout the studio.
TallyEngine provides a Tally-Follow-Router system - essentially six virtual router levels through which tally information flows. Tally data for Red, Green, and Yellow status can follow a router source, so that any destination displaying an on-air source will automatically receive a tally. Tally can also follow a destination, flowing upstream through the router to a source. (Think "Green light on the camera when it's feeding a VTR that's in 'Record'")
TallyEngine makes no distinction between Tally data and GPI/O - this allows any device with a GPO to trigger a tally, and any device with a GPI to receive one. The possibilities here are staggering - not only can you easily use TallyEngine to set up an automation involving the Production Switcher, multiple DVR units, and Audio Console, you can use a key on the Intercom to switch a router source and re-arrange a multiviewer - allowing your users to access a time display, score board, or VGA output without requiring you to cram a throw-down monitor onto an already crowded bench.
Button panels? X-Y Controllers? SoftPanels? Point-and-click GUI? How about "All of the above"?
TallyEngine works with your existing router control system, leaving all the existing functionality in place while adding software control panels, virtual levels for Tally, GUI control, tally generation from router crosspoints, and router switching from Tally or GPO signals, layout saving, and fine control over loading your saved files.
Everybody knows you could buy a few extra router levels, then wire all the studio's tallies to their corresponding router inputs, pull wires from the router destinations to the proper monitors, and your tallies would then follow along when you switch sources on a monitor. It would sure be nice if anyone ever had the time and money to set that up! Instead, every time you re-arrange what signal goes to which monitor, you have to go through and change the tally logic to match...
With a TallyEngine system, tallies flow through virtual router levels - any destination showing an on-air source gets a tally, whether it's been sitting on that source all day, or it's a destination driven by a multi-button router head. Tallies can also flow upstream, tallying whatever source feeds a tallied destination - think "Green light on the camera when it's feeding a VTR that's in 'Record'".
Virtual tallies can be derived from any router crosspoint - you could go as far as making a simple production switcher out of a router head, throwing tallies to cameras as the buttons are pressed.
Tallies can also switch the router, allowing GPO signals from devices to automate switching of sources to destinations.
MultiViewers allow Under Monitor Displays (UMDs) to identify the source displayed in each Picture in Picture subwindow (PiP). Normally those names are manually entered by the engineer at the beginning of the show - and if a monitor is routable, then the UMD has to say something like "Router Head B".
With TallyEngine, UMDs are tied to the source number routed to each PiP, so naming is automatic - switch the source, and the UMD name changes to match.
Tally indication is included with the UMD naming - the color of the name changes from white to Red, Green, or Yellow to indicate different levels of tally. Tally logic follows as well - since tally logic adresses a router source, any destination which is dialed into that source will show tally. Thus, changing the routing of a monitor no longer requires manual tally changes or manual name changes - route the monitor wall, and the UMD names and Tally logic come along for the ride, no extra setup is involved.
Studios have a variety of users, each with different requirements for source naming. A TD may absolutely insist on a specific format for names - necessary for the split-second decision making required by his art. EVS operators may not care to know the name of the camera operator, just wanting to see something like "Camera 1" or "Cam 1:Back Court".
TallyEngine allows you to divide the studio into several zones - Production, Tape Room, Video, and B-Unit - each with a separate name list.
TallyEngine works with your existing MultiViewer configuration system to allow you to easily select preset layouts by using the TallyEngine GUI, the SoftPanel GUI, the Browser Tally interface, or even by tally or GPO signals.
Design any MultiViewer layouts you feel are what work best for your studio, using your existing software, and save them as preset layouts. TallyEngine will call up those layouts as needed, load and save whole monitor wall layout arrangements, trigger layout changes from a button press - we let each system do what it does best, with the ultimate goal being to save you setup time.
All the TallyEngine GUI systems are aware of the current layouts displayed on each MultiViewer, so the GUI shows exactly what source is in each Picture in Picture (PiP) and whether or not that PiP is tallied. Just click on the PiP to change the source being displayed, change the name associated with that source, or to pick a different MultiViewer layout from a chart of available presets.
The TallyEngine GUI is a comprehensive control package allowing complete control of a TallyEngine system, or limited acess to only specific functions based on area or type. Available for Windows or Linux, the software provides a live graphical display of monitor walls and equipment racks, and gives an easy method to control source names, router destinations, multiviewer layouts, and tally logic.
Sometimes, what's needed most is a screen full of configurable buttons. That's what SoftPanel provides - you can define buttons which work like a router control head, buttons which control multiviewer layouts, buttons which change display pages, buttons to change between router, source name, and layout control. Configure multiple pages for a complex control station, or a single simple page to replace the functions of a multi-button control head.