AJA Takes to the Road With TL Mobile

SPRINGFIELD, MO.: TL Mobile Television is a mobile truck operator that works with a wide range of clients including ESPN and Fox. Our 53-foot HD digital expando truck is almost always on the road covering sporting events in the mid- and southwest United States.

Nicholas Appleton We provide all of the equipment needed to broadcast a sporting or entertainment event along with on-site engineering support. We've been using AJA products—primarily for video conversion—ever since 1997, as long as we've been in business.

Recently we were introduced to AJA's FS2 dual-channel universal frame synchronizer/format converter by our local distributor, Professional Video Supply. We were very familiar with the functionality of the company's FS1 model, as we'd been using it for some time, and liked the fact that with the new unit we could now get two channels of 10-bit up-, down-, and cross-conversion in a 1RU package.


Another great feature associated with both the FS2s and the FS1s is that we can IP into them so they're all registered in our truck computer and we don't have to go to each device individually to change settings. It's really convenient to be able to log in and see the parameters of all of our units right on the screen.

The FS2 also provides us with a lot of power in just one box. In a live broadcast, all of our equipment—cameras, switchers, tape machines, graphics generators—has to work together seamlessly. And in such an environment, mixing different flavors of HD isn't that easy, so it's nice to know that the FS2s are there when you need a cross-conversion to provide a particular type of output signal. Our network clients often want 720p for replays or other uses, but the same event might find us having to provide 1080i video to the uplink for a broadcast package, as that's what's standard for that network or show. The FS2s give us the flexibility to do such conversions at the drop of a hat.

Space is always at a premium in a production truck environment and the FS2's dual-channel capability is a great help in this area too. The converters are really big performers—not only in handling the format conversions I mentioned, but also providing analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog video and audio conversions. And we know that we're getting the reliability and support that comes with everything that AJA makes. And the really nice thing is that this technology comes in at a price point that's lower than the competition.

AJA products helped us get from analog to digital and back when most of our equipment was still analog. That original AJA gear is still going strong and we're continuing to use it in our daily work. The folks at AJA helped us make it through the big transition to digital and HD and we anticipate that as the video business continues to change they'll continue to meet our needs with products that provide best-in-class support for the latest broadcast formats.

Nicholas Appleton is vice president of operations and engineering for TL Mobile Television. He may be contacted at troy@tlmobiletv.com.

For additional information, contact AJA Video at 530-274-2048 or visit aja.com.