An audience 100 million strong tuned in to the 2020 North American football championship broadcast held in February 2020 on a range of platforms and device types. For the first time ever, a live broadcast of the event was made available in both UltraHD- and HD-High Dynamic Range (HDR), though a majority of the acquisition was in 1080p and most audiences viewed the game in HD-SDR. To help facilitate simultaneous live production across HD-HDR and HD-SDR formats, Bexel, an NEP Broadcast Services Company, a leading global provider of outsourced broadcast solutions and production equipment rentals, was brought in. The company arrived on site armed with more than 70 AJA FS-HDR converters and frame synchronizers to handle more than 200 conversions between multiple sources spanning live camera feeds, graphics, commercial content, historical footage and more.
Embracing a Single Master HDR workflow, Bexel set up the FS-HDRs to transform and combine a range of external SDR sources into one master 1080p HDR feed. While specialty footage captured in UltraHD was down-converted to 1080p in the CCU, the FS-HDR supported simultaneous conversion of the master 1080p HDR feed to HD-SDR for distribution to displays without HDR capabilities. Throughout the various HD-SDR to HD-HDR, HD-HDR to HD-SDR, and 720p HD to 1080p HD-SDR transforms required, the FS-HDRs ensured the image integrity of each source while reducing overall production complexity.
“FS-HDR bridges the gap between modern SDR and HDR live production workflows,” shared Johnny Pastor, Vice President, Technical Services, Bexel. “The flexibility it provides for the price point is truly unmatched and has made it our go-to for events like this. For all that it does, it’s also super compact; we can easily integrate it into our flightpacks without driving up the weight, so we can save on shipping costs.”
Tom Dickinson, Vice President Technology, Bexel, added, “Producing a live HDR broadcast while working in an SDR external environment can be challenging to say the least, as you’re working with multiple different sources and have to be sure that quality is not compromised as signals are converted and moved throughout the chain. Our FS-HDRs make it easier to go between both worlds to meet the demands of SDR integrity, while also enticing audiences with an impressive HDR feed, and in the case of other client products UltraHD-HDR feeds.”
As Bexel continues to service high profile clients around the world, it expects AJA to remain a staple in its workflow, especially as the transitions from SDR to HDR and HD to UltraHD advance. Pastor concluded, “We looked at a number of HDR converters, but FS-HDR ultimately stood out and we’ve been impressed by its solid performance in the field. We also really enjoy working with the AJA team, who have been instrumental in bringing new features to the device that help us better support our clients as HDR continues to evolve.”
FS-HDR is a versatile 1RU, rack-mount universal converter/frame synchronizer for real time HDR transforms as well as 4K/HD up/down/cross conversions. Fusing AJA’s production-proven FS frame synchronization and conversion technology with video and color space processing algorithms from the award-winning Colorfront™ Engine, FS-HDR matches the real time, low-latency processing and color fidelity demands that broadcast, OTT, post production and ProAV environments require. FS-HDR offers comprehensive signal conversion, and allows users to also convert a range of camera Log formats to HDR broadcast standards as well as to/from BT.2020/BT.709.
About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high-quality, cost-effective products to the professional broadcast, video and post production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.
For over 35 years, Bexel, an NEP Broadcast Services Company, has been a leading global provider of outsourced innovative broadcast solutions for producers of sports, entertainment, and live events. Our services include production equipment rentals and engineered solutions for 4K and specialty cameras and lenses, RF audio and intercom, production workflow, custom flypacks, frequency coordination, and fiber optic solutions. We pride ourselves on exhibiting operational excellence from concept to completion. From our custom shipping cases designed for each rental package to save our client valuable time and money, to our commitment to quality when designing, building and installing full-service broadcast infrastructures, Bexel’s reliability is unmatched for providing value-engineered solutions and services.
For over 30 years, NEP has been a worldwide outsourced technical production partner supporting premier content producers of live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events. Our services include remote production, specialty capture, RF and wireless video/audio, studio production, audio visual solutions, host broadcast support, post production, connectivity and transmission, premium playout and innovative software-based media management solutions. NEP’s 4,000+ employees are driven by a passion for superior service and a focus on technical innovation. Together, we have supported productions in 88 countries on all seven continents. NEP is headquartered in the United States and has operations in 24 countries. Learn more at nepgroup.com.
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