Sync Pulse Generators (SPGs)

“We bought an SPG from Courtyard and never talked to them again. What I mean is, we didn’t have to talk to them again. It worked straight out of the box, it did evertything it was supposed to do and it interfaced correctly with all our other equipment. It’s not often that happens.”
… Brian Suttie, Technical Director, Picardy Television Limited

Back in 1988 we at Courtyard were surprised to find that there were only a few high performance general purpose sync pulse generators (SPGs) on the market. Some of those were not adequately addressing the issue of colour framing (very important at the time), and reliability was clearly an issue. It was also apparent that there was a demand for a single product which offered test patterns and audio tones together with the SPG facilities. These factors (coupled of course with intensive market research!), encouraged us to enter the market.

The CY420 was launched in 1988 and was aimed at the broadcast and post production market. It was primarily an SPG, as this is the market we originally targeted, but the range of test patterns it provided ensured demand from the T&M market. Our goal was to produce a precision tool with impeccable performance and reliability. Able to perform equally well in master and slave SPG applications the CY420 offered test patterns simultaneously in both composite and component (unique at the time). Multiple colour black outputs reduced system installation costs by reducing the requirement for distribution amplifiers. The range of test patterns was restricted to those in regular daily use and did not include the likes of Multiburst, Pulse & Bar. It was our belief that patterns like this were used infrequently (in the targeted application) and that most installations already had a high performace stand alone test pattern generator. This allowed us to keep the cost down whilst offering a high performace, feature rich product. This highly successful product was the catalyst for the state of the art range of SPG’s and Test Pattern Generators we currently produce.

Whilst there has been a significant move from analogue to digital worldwide, it is important to remember that the majority of digital equipment still needs to be locked to an analogue colour black reference. Now though an SPG may also to be a time reference and needs to be able to offer Timecode and NTP facilities too. Any SPG & Test Pattern generator produced now has to cater for a wide variety of applications.


The CY460 is the ultimate sync, test pattern & time reference generator designed to satisfy all needs of broadcast serial digital (Standard, High Definition & 3G) and mixed digital/analogue, post-production, OB and other operational environments. Stabilty and reliability are of paramount importance and are provided on the back of 25 years experience in the field.

The SPGs and Test Pattern Generators are complemented by the CY465 and CY445 Universal SPG Changeover units.

The all new CY440 SPG and CY445 Changeover are the latest additions to the range.


CY460 – SPG Test Pattern & Time Reference Generator
CY465 – Universal SPG Changeover Unit

CY440 – SPG Test Pattern and Reference Generator
CY445 – Universal SPG Changeover Unit