GRASS VALLEY, Calif.—Part of AJA Video Systems’ success over the years can be attributed to our strong engineering ethic and attention to detail. We like to work closely with our customers to solve challenges that naturally occur in complex video environments. For us, PHABRIX Qx and QxL test and measurement equipment is a vital part of that process and we currently run 11 of their devices—seven in engineering and four for automated testing in manufacturing.
We probably work with 300-400 different video signal formats, a number that continues to grow as our customers innovate their workflows. To this end, having access to the broad range of signals that PHABRIX covers is extremely useful.
TESTING FOR SUCCESS
When I joined AJA seven years ago, one of the first things that stood out was the sheer amount of testing gear within the company. We’re a company that was founded—and is still run—by an engineer, and he appreciates allocating resources to the equipment budget for test gear. That's critical for development engineering to be successful.
PHABRIX is part of our testing kit and our involvement with PHABRIX Qx came about around 2018, when we also started to focus on 12G-SDI.
Although IP momentum is steadily building, 12G-SDI is popular among many in the broadcast industry, as it solves some of the most pressing challenges they face today. PHABRIX Qx has proven an enabler in validating and testing our complete line of 12G-SDI products, helping us to ensure they’re field-ready
We originally selected the Qx for its comprehensive toolset and 12G-SDI coverage—an offering considered to be well ahead of its competitors at the time. It has been an integral part of our setup ever since, and each department uses the technology in a unique way.
In engineering, it may be used for specific validation tests or to troubleshoot, while manufacturing testing uses it in a more automated way by writing a test script to drive the Qx to perform repetitive testing.
We largely use the Qx’s single link 12G-SDI and quad-link 3G-SDI interfaces. Beyond that, we’ve come to rely on the responsiveness of the PHABRIX team to help sort out any challenges we encounter. Given the scope of our products and the markets we serve—from television broadcasters to Hollywood content producers, ProAV, healthcare, and beyond—you can imagine those challenges are rather wide-ranging.
SUPPORTING MANY SIGNALS
If we were just developing products for television, we'd primarily test YCbCr 10-bit 50/59 fps signals, but since our products end up in so many different applications, we need to support a broad range of signals, raster sizes, frame rates, and color spaces. The Qx has been very helpful in those circumstances.
And while 12G-SDI has been a critical part of our success in recent years, we have also developed a number of well-regarded products in the evolving IP space. As a result, the last unit that we purchased from PHABRIX was an IP-enabled QxL.
The QxL is assisting us on the IP pathway, but the demand for 12G-SDI remains strong, and we will continue to grow our product portfolio to align with industry needs. In this respect, I’m sure we’re not too far off from another QxL investment.
For more information visit www.phabrix.com.
Bob Hudelson is an engineering department manager at AJA Video Systems in Grass Valley, Calif. Bob manages product development teams at AJA that create innovative products for the broadcast, audio/video, production and post-production industries. He can be reached at BobH@aja.com.
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