AJA KONA 3 Video Cards and FS1 Frame Syncs Boost Tapeless Workflows for Outdoor Broadcast Events
AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, today announced that its KONA 3 video capture and playback cards and FS1 frame syncs are in use by UK broadcast systems provider Timeline Television, via AJA reseller Jigsaw Systems, Ltd., to enable HD and SD broadcasts of outdoor sports and news events. KONA 3 is AJA’s top-of-the-line uncompressed capture card for SD, HD, and Dual Link 4:4:4 HD for Apple Mac Pro systems, and the FS1 is a universal HD and SD, video and audio frame synchronizer and converter supporting virtually any input or output format.
Timeline Television Ltd., based in London’s Ealing Studios, was founded in 2007 by a group of broadcasting industry veterans that includes Timeline Managing Director Dan McDonnell, who was previously with the BBC for over 17 years. “We’ve been pushing tapeless workflows in the UK since long before Timeline existed as an entity and AJA KONA cards have been a part of that since they were first introduced,” McDonnell said. “AJA’s early support of IMX and ProRes codecs put them well ahead of the competition in terms of innovation, and that continuing innovation keeps them at the top of our list for tapeless broadcast workflows.”
Recent Timeline projects employing AJA tools include the 2009 Wimbledon Tennis and British Golf Open Championships for the BBC, as well as the July 2008 Dubai launch of the legendary RMS Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) cruise liner as a floating luxury hotel.
Timeline’s head of post production, Charlie Tear, commented that 2009 marked the first year that multiple broadcasters were able to work off of a single shared EVS IPDirector system in HD at Wimbledon: “Both KONA and the FS1 came into play at Wimbledon, as they do on virtually all of our projects. We had eight FCP edit suites set up with KONA 3 cards for ingest and playback, and used 10 FS1s for de-embedding audio and to make conversions from HD to SD. The KONA cards play well with the EVS servers and make ingest and publishing media from system to system effortless.”
For the British Open, Timeline provided IMG, the BBC and The Golf Channel with both MCR and EVS server operations, both of which relied heavily on the FS1 frame syncs and KONA 3 video cards. “We had four edit suites outfitted with KONA 3 cards working in HD, and were handling all the editing for the Golf Open web site. It was a very high-pressure situation with hourly updates, interviews and more. We needed something that would be ready instantly and was one hundred percent reliable,” McDonnell explained. “AJA FS1s were also used to embed several channels of international commentary to the outgoing satellite feeds, again without problems or complication.”
For the Dubai launch of the QEII, Timeline once again provided MCR and server operations. Footage at the event was captured in high definition, but many broadcasters were still required to deliver in SD. Timeline set up two Final Cut Pro edit suites outfitted with KONA 3 cards, and once again relied on the FSI frame syncs for embedding and de-embedding audio and converting the broadcast signal from HD to SD.
“We use AJA cards because they give us the best quality,” Tear concluded. “And the FS1 offers just as many features as other solutions that cost much more. In terms of broadcast infrastructure, AJA tools are very reasonably priced for the features they provide and we’ve found them to be very reliable. We wouldn’t use them if it was any other way.”
About Timeline Television Ltd.
Timeline are the UK’s leading provider of tapeless broadcast systems for the live outside broadcast and post-production industries. Specialising in large-scale EVS IPDirector and XT2 server integration to Final Cut Pro and Avid networks, transmission and engineering facilities for host broadcast operations and multi-broadcaster event-wide shared video server solutions. For more info please see www.timleine.tv.
About KONA 3
KONA 3 is the ultimate uncompressed capture card for seamless operation with PCI Express (PCIe) Mac Pro systems and Apple Final Cut Pro. Supporting any uncompressed SD or HD format, including Dual Link HD and 2K, KONA 3 captures and plays back uncompressed 10-bit and 8-bit digital video and 24-bit digital audio, providing unparalleled power and workflow efficiency. KONA 3 also includes a variety of 10-bit broadcast-quality features, such as hardware-based up-, down-, and cross-conversion to and from HD, and adds a live hardware HD/SD keyer for compositing bugs, live clips, and other elements over video.
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, and AFD support. For audio, the FS1 supports 8-channel AES, balanced analog or embedded audio with audio mapping and full flexibility. The FS1 is also network ready, offering web-based remote control and SNMP alerts.
About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion and Desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website www.aja.com.