AJA Converters Enable Video Distribution System for Jazz at Lincoln Center

April 9, 2007

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AJA Video, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, today announced that the AJA Hi5 converter was used by Acme Professional to facilitate a high-resolution video distribution system for Jazz at Lincoln Center, a multi-venue performing arts facility located in the Time-Warner Center in New York City. The Hi5 is a miniature converter with full support for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, and offers cost-effective conversion and a small footprint for viewing SDI and HD-SDI material on HDMI displays.

Dedicated to the advancement of Jazz and American music, Jazz at Lincoln Center's facilities at Frederick P. Rose Hall are comprised of five separate venues: Rose Theater, The Allen Room, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, The Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame and the Irene Diamond Education Center, as well as XM Satellite Radio production and recording facilities and various public spaces. The venues have been the scene of many significant events by legendary, world-class musicians and arts organizations, and the facility is also utilized for corporate events, new product introductions and press events.

Acme Professional relied on the newly-released AJA Hi5 HD-SDI to HDMI converter to provide Jazz at Lincoln Center with an all digital, HD-system head-end for high-resolution digital signage and video distribution throughout the public areas, with greatly simplified cabling and installation requirements as compared to conventional methods.

The setup features 40" LCD, 1920x1080 Samsung displays with HDMI inputs in all of the public areas and 24" Samsung PC monitors with native 1920x1200 panels at the side concert hall entrances, which provided a challenge in determining converter requirements at each display location. The AJA Hi5 converters were used at all LCD locations to convert the distributed HD-SDI to HDMI, eliminating the need for distribution amplifiers at each display and providing audio de-embedding and analog audio outputs at each location. The 24" widescreen displays, which include DVI inputs, employ the AJA HDP, a compact HD-SDI to DVI converter that includes an internal scaler to eliminate any issues when output to the 1920x1200 displays.

"The AJA Hi5s work brilliantly for the conversion to HDMI. They provide refreshed HD-SDI loop outputs, eliminating the need for distribution amplifiers at each display location when daisy-chaining displays in certain zones. And, an HDMI cable is included with each converter, which is a nice touch," notes Pete Cosmos, Partner, Acme Professional. "The audio is also embedded on the HDMI output to each display, so ground-loops and other possible audio degradation is avoided while providing each display with embedded audio, a design feature that also enabled HD distribution to a corporate/patron's lounge and other private locations."

The 24" widescreen displays are 1920x1200 native, and include DVI inputs. Acme Professional used the AJA HDP converter for the DVI displays according to Cosmos, who points out that like the Hi5, the HDP converters include refreshed outputs to loop to the next display in several locations.

"We provided two identical 24" preview monitors in the rack with HDP converters hanging off the HD-SDI router, providing true 'what you see is what you get' monitoring of the zoned outputs, pixel by pixel, up to 1080p, with de-embedded audio confidence monitoring," Cosmos describes. "The HDP converters can also be set to scale their DVI outputs to fill the screen, based on EDID handshaking with the monitor. When feeding a 1080i HDSDI input source to the HDP, the HDP's internal scaler could be used to fill the screen, eliminating the upper and lower banding that occurs when viewing 1080i on a 1920x1200 computer monitor."

The uncompressed, all-digital audio/video HMDI interface has become more and more popular for set-top boxes, DVD players, A/V receivers and audio and video monitors. The Hi5 allows for media conversion via a single-cable audio/video connection, with embedded SDI/HD-SDI audio, two-channel RCA-style audio outputs for separate audio monitoring if needed, and looping to connect or "daisy chain" multiple monitors to the same SDI/HD-SDI source.

AJA offers a wide array of miniature standalone and rack-mount video and audio converters, supporting multiple SD and HD formats. AJA converters are known for uncompromised quality, reliability, modularity, and value. Like all of AJA's miniature converters, the Hi5 includes a five-year international warranty.

About Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jazz at Lincoln Center is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to jazz. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, national and international tours, residencies, weekly national radio and television programs, recordings, publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, a band director academy, a jazz appreciation curriculum for children, advanced training through the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies, music publishing, children's concerts, lectures, adult education courses and student and educator workshops. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman of the Board Lisa Schiff, Executive Director Katherine E. Brown and Jazz at Lincoln Center board and staff, Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce hundreds of events during its 2007-08 season. In October 2004, Jazz at Lincoln Center opened Frederick P. Rose Hall-the first-ever performance, education and broadcast facility devoted to jazz. For more information, visit www.jalc.org.

About Acme Professional, Inc.
Acme Professional, formed in 2006, is an Audio-Video Design and Integration company founded by partners Tom Clark, Nevin Steinberg, Mark Menard and Pete Cosmos. With current projects in New York, Baltimore, Washington and beyond, Acme Professional provides complete design & engineering services and turn-key integration of critical audio and video systems for Performing Arts Centers, House-of-Worship, corporate installations and other projects. For additional information, contact Pete Cosmos, pete.cosmos@acmeprofessional.com.