FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA
Fort Lauderdale is one of the nation’s
largest and fastest-growing churches. It
was founded in 1985 by Pastor Bob Coy and a handful of believers and has since
grown to “mega” status, accommodating
more than 20,000 people at services on
the main campus in Fort Lauderdale, and
reaching other members and worshippers
at regional locations in Boca Raton, Boynton,
the Florida Keys, Hollywood, Naples,
North Lauderdale, Plantation, the Villages
and West Boca Raton—all in Florida.
The worship service programming
originates from the main campus in Ft.
Lauderdale and reaches the nine remote
campuses in a variety of ways, including
fiber optic connectivity, file transfer, video
streaming and even on such recordable
media as Blu-ray and DVDs.
Not long ago a decision was made to
upgrade video operations to high-definition,
and as with most such projects, this
one was accompanied by a host of issues
that had to be addressed. Based on past
experience we looked to Cobalt Digital
for some of the solutions.
One of the first things we encountered
in the HD transition proved to be
a two-fold challenge. In an SD environment
the three signals that comprise the
production process—audio, video and
timecode—are combined at the recorder.
However, in an HD world these signals
need to be combined (or embedded) before
they reach ingest/playout devices
such as video file servers, DVRs, and the
like. Marrying audio and video wasn’t really
a problem, but we had no way to add
in the timecode element.
ADDING TIMECODE TO THE MIX
The second part of that challenge was
the number of streams we needed to embed.
We produce many different versions
of the same material, and we need to embed
16 HD-SDI streams. While many companies
can provide embedders and some
offer dual embedders, Cobalt is one of the
few manufacturers that make quad embedders,
their 9374 MADI embedder/de-embedder
product. This card was exactly
what we were looking for. It seemed a bit
costly at first, but when you calculate the
total cost per stream, the 9374 works out
as a very cost-effective solution and solved
one of our problems. However there was still the issue of embedding timecode.
I approached Cobalt about developing
a solution and they did! The 9374 now includes
an option to insert timecode, thus
eliminating the need for a second module.
ALL THIS AND MADI TOO
Another really invaluable aspect of the
9374 card is that it has—along with AES
audio capability—a MADI interface with
a 64-channel payload. The combination
of timecode and MADI in a quad card designed
to operate in the openGear frame
is really brilliant. I’ll never again design
a studio without incorporating this card.
I also have to say that since the launching
of the new HD facility, Cobalt Digital
cards have performed absolutely flawlessly.
We’re very impressed with the efforts
of the whole Cobalt team and in their
development of these highly functional
John Groves has been involved in television
production for 40 years and is
currently a video systems engineer/systems
integrator. He may be contacted at
For additional information, contact
Cobalt Digital at 800-669-1691 or visit