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Tektronix SPG8000A Master Sync / Master Clock Reference Generator (Base Unit)

Abel Code: TEK-SPG8000A
Mfr. Code: SPG8000A
Estimated to Ship – 5-10 Business Days
This precision, multiformat video signal generator is suitable for master synchronization and reference applications.
Key Highlights
  • Master Sync/Clock Reference Generator
  • Base Option
  • 4K/UHD formats supported


The Tektronix SPG8000A Master Sync / Master Clock Reference Generator (Base Unit) is a precision, multiformat video signal generator, suitable for master synchronization and reference applications. It provides multiple video reference signals, such as black burst, HD tri-level sync, and serial digital and composite analog test patterns, and it provides time reference signals such as time code, NTP (Network Time Protocol), and IEEE 1588 PTP (Precision Time Protocol).


  • Multiple independent black burst and HD tri-level sync outputs provide all the video reference signals required in a video broadcast or production facility
  • (4) LTC outputs, VITC on black burst outputs, and NTP server provide time reference signals in a variety of formats
  • PTP (IEEE 1588) support, including SMPTE ST 2059-2 and AES67 profiles
  • GPS/GLONASS-based synchronization gives an accurate time-of-day reference and deterministic video phase reference across multiple independent systems
  • Stay GenLock and Holdover Recovery prevent synchronization shock when the external reference input, PTP, or GPS/GLONASS signal is temporarily lost
  • Wide selection of video test patterns in serial digital formats (SD, HD and 3G-SDI) and composite analog formats (NTSC and PAL)
  • 4K/UHD formats support with full frame 100% and 75% color bars (Quad Link Square Division)
  • Dual hot-swappable power supplies ensure continuous availability of reference signals
  • Easy to manage with Web-based interface for remote configuration and SNMP for status and alert information


  • Sync generator and time reference generator for broadcast, studio, mobile, and post-production facilities
  • Master or slave (genlock) operation for distributed system architectures
  • Video equipment verification, facility link testing, and display calibration

NOTE: This version of the SPG8000A represents its "Base" option. All other options are sold separately, and are detailed here for reference & comparison purposes only.


Master Video Synchronization & Time Reference Generator

The base configuration includes (3) sync outputs that can be configured with independent output formats and independently adjustable timing offsets. With Option BG, (4) additional analog outputs can be added. A high-accuracy, oven-controlled crystal oscillator provides a stable frequency reference for the system, or the pass-through genlock input can be used to lock to an external video reference or 10 MHz continuous wave signal.

NOTE: The SPG8000A’s Stay GenLock feature avoids "synchronization shock" if the external reference suffers a temporary disturbance, by maintaining the frequency and phase of each output signal. When the external reference is restored, Stay GenLock ensures that any accumulated clock drift is removed by slowly adjusting the system clock within standard limits instead of "jamming" back to the correct phase.

Time reference outputs are available in multiple formats; (3) independent linear time code (LTC) outputs are available, and a fourth LTC connection can be used as input or output. Each LTC output has independent frame rate selection, time source (time-of-day or program time) and time zone offset. Vertical interval time code (VITC) is available on each NTSC or PAL black output, also with independent time sources and offsets. The SPG8000A can also serve as a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server or as a Precision Time Protocol (PTP) grandmaster clock, providing the time-of-day reference to network-attached devices.

Optional GPS / GLONASS Receiver

Option GPS adds an integrated receiver to the SPG8000A that is capable of receiving both GPS and GLONASS signals. When connected to an external antenna that supplies the standard GPS and/or GLONASS RF signal (for example, SPG8000ANT), the SPG8000A can use the GPS⁠/⁠GLONASS system’s stable frequency reference.

The GPS/GLONASS signal also includes a precise time-of-day reference that can be used for all time code outputs. Similar to the Stay GenLock feature, the SPG8000A can maintain the video frequency and phase when the GPS/GLONASS signal is interrupted, and the Holdover Recovery mode will ensure a shock-free realignment of frequency and phase when the GPS/GLONASS signal is restored.

Optional PTP Support

Option PTP adds two Precision Time Protocol (PTP) engines to the SPG system. The primary PTP engine has the capability to be a master PTP source or lock the SPG to the PTP as a slave. The secondary PTP engine can only be a master. The secondary engine allows implementing two masters when in Internal mode or locked to GPS, and simultaneous Master and Slave operation. The black outputs support a 1pps mode. This is useful for measuring timing between systems.

Test Signal Outputs

The SPG8000A can be optionally configured with a variety of test signal outputs. Option BG includes two composite analog outputs (NTSC or PAL) that can be used to generate test patterns such as color bars, or serve as additional black burst outputs.

Option SDI adds two fully independent serial digital video generator channels of two outputs each. Each channel can be configured to any standard 3G/HD/SD-SDI format and frame rate. The selected test pattern can be generated on both outputs per channel, or one output can generate digital black.

A wide variety of standard test patterns are included, such as color bars, convergence grid, step scales, ramps, multiburst, SDI pathological test matrix and a real-time programmable zone plate generator. Bitmap images can be downloaded to the SPG8000A’s flash memory for arbitrary user-defined test patterns. ID text, burn-in time code, circle, and color logo overlays can be added to any test pattern, and several ancillary data packet types, including ancillary time code and user-defined packets, can be inserted into the SDI output signal.

The (4) SDI outputs can be configured to support 4K/UHD full frame, 100% and 75% color bars for quad link square division mode. This allows simple verification of your 4K/UHD workflow within the production studio or mobile truck. Note: VPIDs are compliant only to HD and 3G formats in 4K/UHD formats.

Also included is an audio/video delay test sequence, which in conjunction with a Tektronix waveform monitor (not included), can be used to ensure A/V delay compliance.

Audio Reference Signals

Several audio reference signals are available on the SPG8000A. The base configuration includes a 48 kHz word clock output, and Option AG adds five AES/EBU output pairs. One pair is dedicated to a Digital Audio Reference Signal (DARS) output, and the other four pairs are used for test tone generation, with independent tone frequency and amplitude settings for each of the 8 channels.

Audio tone generation, including Dolby E format, is provided with Option SDI as embedded audio on each of the SDI outputs. Various Dolby E audio frame start locations can be set to test the error handling ability of the signal processing equipment in the signal path. Embedded Dolby E metadata are also included in the Dolby E test stream. Supported Dolby E program configurations include mono, stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound audio.

Remote Access

The SPG8000A includes a 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet interface for remote access to the instrument. A web-based user interface can be used for all configuration settings and for monitoring system status.

Alarm and key status information is also available using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) messaging, enabling easy integration with network management systems. Remote control and alarm reporting is also available using a general purpose interface (GPI). The SPG8000A has a front-panel USB port that can be used to backup and restore presets and other user data, and to perform system firmware upgrades.

Optional Backup Power Supply

For mission-critical applications, the SPG8000A can be configured with a second power supply module. Under normal operation, the designated backup supply is seldom used, ensuring that it has maximum remaining life should the primary supply fail. The backup supply is load-tested once each day to verify that it can serve as the primary supply if necessary.

The usage time of each supply is logged as "temperature-weighted hours", a metric that best estimates the calculated life of the supply. A front-panel LED will indicate when the supply is nearing its end-of-life.

If the primary supply is interrupted for any reason, the system will switch to the backup without any disruption to system operation. Power supply modules are hot-swappable for easy replacement, and feature a locking mechanism to prevent the power cable from accidental disconnection.



  • Connectors:
    • (1) USB Type-A
    • (1) BNC (REF Input with loop-through)
    • (1) BNC (DARS Reference Output)
    • (1) BNC (Word Clock Output)
    • (4) BNC (SDI Output)
    • (4) BNC (AES/EBU Output)
    • (7) BNC (Composite Video Output)
    • (1) BNC (GPS Input)
    • (1) GPI HD-15 (15-pin HD D-Sub)
  • Reference Input
    • Connector: (2) BNC, passive loop-through
    • Input Impedence: 75 Ω
    • Input Signal: 
      • NTSC/PAL black burst
      • HD tri-level sync:
        • 1080/60/59.94/50I
        • 1080/30/29.97/25/24/23.98P
        • 1080/24/23.98PsF
        • 720/60/59.94/50P
      • 10 MHz continuous wave
    • Amplitude Range: -8 dB to +6 dB
    • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >40 dB
    • SCH Phase: 0 ±40°
    • Return Loss: ≥30 dB at 300 kHz to 10 MHz
    • Lock Stability:
      • ±3 dB amplitude change
        • <1 ns
      • Jitter with burst lock
        • <0.5°
      • Jitter with sync lock
        • <1 ns
      • Jitter with CW lock
        • <1 ns (typ. 1°)
  • Genlock
    • Timing Adjustment Range: Anywhere in the color frame
    • Timing Adjustment Resolution: <0.5° of NTSC/PAL subcarrier, 1 ns with tri-level sync input
    • Color Framing: Keeps accuracy even with ±45° SCH error of input reference signal
    • Genlock Tune Range: ±7.5 × 10-6
  • Time Reference
    • Source: GPS or GLONASS signal, PTP input, LTC input, VITC read from NTSC/PAL genlock input, or can enter manually
    • Time Zone Offset: −23:59 to +23:59 
    • Daylight Saving Adjustment: Start/end from recurring calendar or manually scheduled, with adjustable offset
    • Leap Second Adjustment: Inserted at 00:00 UTC on the scheduled date, or deferred up to 24 hours
  • LTC Input
    • Connector: Available through D-sub 15-pin connector; Optional break-out cable to XLR connector available
    • Formats: 24 fps (24 Hz or 23.98 Hz), 25 fps, 30 fps, 30 fps drop-frame (29.97 Hz) per SMPTE 12M
    • Timing to Video: Compliant with SMPTE 12M and continues to operate over at least 90% of possible timing range
    • Signal Voltage Range: 0.5 to 10 Vp-p differential, 1 to 5 Vp-p single ended
    • Noise Tolerance:–30 dB SNR RMS white noise with 10 kHz BW to the p-p signal level, or –10 dB SNR for 5 MHz white noise
    • Hum Tolerance: 0 dB hum-to-signal ratio
    • Error Immunity: 100 consecutive frames with consistent time code must be detected for time to be considered valid
    • Input Impedance: Nominal 600 Ω differential, 300 Ω single ended

What's in the Box

  • Tektronix SPG8000A Master Sync / Master Clock Reference Generator (Base Unit)


Key Highlights

  • Master Sync/Clock Reference Generator
  • Base Option
  • 4K/UHD formats supported
There are no specifications for this product
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