For-A Aids Golf Channel

The picture quality is unbelievably good
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The For-A FRC-7000 HD Frame Rate Converter
ORLANDO, FLA.
Golf Channel is an international programming network serving more than 120 million homes with several different output paths. We transmit standard- and high-definition signals domestically, provide an SD feed to Asia and the Pacific Rim, and are getting ready to roll out a world feed. We recently stepped up our game with For-A's FRC-7000 HD Frame Rate Converter, which we're using at our facility for conversion of all of our PAL feeds being received from events taking place in Europe and Asia.

Before acquiring the FRC-7000, we had relied on a third-party source for this frame rate conversion. After some analysis, we decided to streamline the process and perform in-house frame rate conversion of these PAL signals. This move has eliminated potential image artifacts that might result from the additional signal transmission paths. And as another plus, we now are able to control the quality of these signals ourselves, saving both time and money.

After adding this conversion capability, we decided to step up another aspect of our workflow. We can now directly receive the PAL signal feeds being satellited from Europe. Not only did the FRC-7000 improve our picture quality, it has also provided us with a great deal more control and flexibility in our operations. Further, the unit has exceeded our expectations in terms of our signal integrity.

We started evaluating conversion technologies last spring and after several months of testing the FRC-7000, decided to purchase it.

The FRC-7000's price point was also an important consideration. Our transmission team was even more pleased with the video that the unit delivered. When we're using the FRC-7000 as a standards converter on the tournaments, the picture quality is unbelievably good.

We never underestimate the importance of the user interface, and have found that the FRC-7000 is very easy to operate and control. Our operators appreciate the fact that the unit has plenty of "handles." The ability to manipulate audio and video signals is a very handy feature when you're taking in satellite feeds. Once we configured the FRC-7000 for our system, it's pretty much been a "set it and forget it" part of our overall workflow.

Now that we converted our HD channel to MPEG-4, Golf Channel's video quality is greatly improved. We use the FRC-7000 as the entry point for outside signals, interfacing it with our master control operations. The converted footage can then be routed to the server or recording decks.

I've been in this business for more than 30 years and have purchased a lot of For-A equipment. I've also watched the company progress in its development of color correction devices and time base correctors during those years. For-A has always provided a technically superior and economically sound way for manipulation and correction of video signals.

Ken Botelho is the senior director of engineering for Golf Channel. He has been part of the Comcast Programming Group since 2002, joining the Golf Channel team in 2009. He has worked in the video industry since 1976. He may be contacted atkbotelho@golfchannel.com.

For additional information, contact For-A at 714-894-3311 or visitwww.for-a.com.