WDBJ-TV Installs 23 FS1 Converters From AJA

WDBJ-TV Installs 23 FS1 Converters From AJA

August 13, 2008

CBS Affiliate in Roanoke, VA Streamlines HD and SDI Broadcasts.  

AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, announced today that it has completed a sale of 23 FS1 converters to CBS affiliate WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, VA, via AJA reseller Digital Video Group, Inc. The FS1 is a universal HD and SD, audio and video frame synchronizer and converter supporting virtually any input or output format.

WDBJ-TV has been in operation since 1955, and began broadcasting in HD in 2002, when the station moved to a new facility. Since then, WDBJ-TV has continued to add new HD capabilities, but the conversion to HD began in earnest this year as the station began to produce its nighttime newscasts entirely in high definition.

Carl Guffey, Director of Engineering at WDBJ-TV, is a veteran engineering professional with over 26 years at the station, and a long-time user of AJA equipment. "This year saw the purchase of a lot of new gear-studio cameras, video switcher, graphics generator and weather presentation-and AJA's FS1 converter is the glue that keeps all of that working together," Guffey said. "We get feeds from a variety of sources-satellite, network and everything else you can think of-and the FS1 can handle it all."

Working in both an HD and SDI environment, WDBJ-TV uses 12 FS1 converters to up-convert standard definition signals to HD, and another set to down-convert HD signals to SDI in order to feed older equipment and non-HD channels.

"We instantly started referring to the FS1 as our can opener because it does everything," Guffey continued. "The FS1 allows us to do just about anything. We can up-convert, down-convert, add wings and even translate in closed caption, which is huge. Sometimes we'll get incoming feeds that are not in HD, and when they go out on air they either have to be in HD or be closed captioned. The FS1 allows us to cross-convert the captioning up to HD, and from HD down to SD. It's all built into the same box, and all for one price."

Integration of the FS1s into the WDBJ-TV infrastructure proved to be remarkably seamless. "It was a dream," said Guffey. "The wiring is relatively simple-we were able to mount them on a studio rack, cable them up and lock them to our in-house sync generator with no problems. What's more, AJA's customer service is incredibly responsive, and the few questions we did have were all answered within a couple of hours. The FS1 is a reasonably priced box offering all-around usefulness such as embedded audio, analog and decoding that in other systems would require multiple boxes, and that's a very big deal."

The FS1 is a universal HD and SD, audio and video frame synchronizer and converter. With an extremely flexible architecture, the FS1 can simultaneously support both HD and SD video-all in full 10-bit broadcast quality video and 24-bit audio. The FS1 supports virtually any input or output as analog or digital, HD or SD. This product can up-convert or down-convert between SD and HD while providing simultaneous outputs of both formats, and supports both closed captioning and closed captioning conversions between SD and HD formats. FS1 also includes 10-bit HD to HD cross-conversion for 1080 and 720 formats. For audio, the FS1 supports 8-channel AES, balanced analog or embedded audio with full flexibility. The FS1 is also network ready, offering web-based remote control.