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Arctek chooses FOR-A HD frame-rate converter for live sports broadcasts

Arctek and Galaxy Light & Power, in London, are using several FOR-A FRC-7000 HD frame-rate converters to provide 1080/50i HD signals to European broadcasters. They recently used them to perform high-quality conversions for the live broadcasts of the World Championship International Ice Hockey Federation. The tournament took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Quebec City over a three-week period, where an SD signal was also supplied, after being downconverted to PAL.

When performing a conversion from 1080/60i to 1080/50i, artifacts often appear. This happens because the converters are taking 60 images a second and changing the signal to match the 50 images per second frame rate. The FRC-7000 uses vector motion compensation processing to analyze and determine the pixel movement in each image frame by comparing the movement in the frames before and after the ones being converted.

The FRC-7000 estimates where the images will appear and tracks motion to work out where it will be in different intervals. The hockey championships also required that Dolby sound was fed to Europe. With many live music and sports events being made available in Dolby 5.1, together with it being the audio standard for the mastering of DVD/ BD, this invaluable function saves having to use a large amount of additional peripheral audio processing.

The FRC-7000 features scene cut detection that automatically detects scene changes and turns off motion compensation processing so scenes before and after the frames being converted are not affected. A new set of frames is then created in the required output standard.

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