EEG extends HD480, HD485 functionality with new Active Format Descriptor capabilities

Extensive AFD functions are now available for broadcasters and post facilities for highly streamlined HD and HD-to-SD workflows
EEG’s HD480 and HD485 closed-captioning encoders now feature Active Format Descriptor insertion capabilities.  Click to enlarge

Closed-captioning solutions provider EEG has introduced Active Format Descriptor (AFD) insertion capabilities for its HD480 and HD485 closed-captioning encoders.

This additional functionality, the latest in a series of software upgrades to EEG’s next-generation digital closed-captioning solutions, provides broadcasters with the tools to achieve highly streamlined HD and HD-to-SD workflows, and enables post facilities to meet new AFD ingest specifications quickly and cost-effectively with versatile multipurpose equipment.

Properly managing AFD information, the codes that guide DTV receivers, downconverters and other professional video equipment regarding the display of video of one aspect ratio on a display of another aspect ratio, is becoming increasingly important in state-of-the-art digital workflows. As HD/SD plants migrate to a system of storing all their material in HD only, and converting to SD as necessary for final transmission, EEG’s advanced AFD solutions provide an efficient and intuitive path to prepare assets for an optimal, smooth downconversion process. AFD in professional production is a versatile tool that eases workflows and preserves image quality, regardless of whether codes are used only in the plant or preserved down to the consumer set.

For broadcasters using the HD480, the new software module offers an AFD switching solution that supports manual encoding of fixed-pattern AFD from presets or dynamic control from an automation server over a local TCP/IP network. Its flexible switching matrix allows broadcasters to create rules for selecting their preferred source of AFD data, based on the presence of automation sources, upstream video signals and the manually selected presets. In addition, it enables use of a private CEA-608 XDS protocol for carrying and recovering AFD codes, which will pass undetected through other equipment. All functions are configurable via PC over a local Web page on the HD480, which includes an auto-refreshing status monitor showing the currently running AFD code and its source.

The HD480 can also be used to bridge frame or field gaps in previously encoded AFD data, preventing switching glitches and other undesired behavior. The HD480 AFD module can be configured to bridge gaps of anywhere from a single frame up to eight seconds of data. The continuity feature creates no additional latency when a new valid code is received.

Post houses equipped with the HD485 will be able to meet the AFD ingest specifications of their broadcasting customers with a new Windows-based VANC insertion module. This professional-grade software includes a full preset library covering all legal AFD codes. The user simply selects the desired preset in a Windows GUI, and the data is encoded in real time onto every field of the video signal.

The expansion of AFD functionality follows EEG’s recent addition of advanced audio metadata software modules for the HD480 and HD485 and the introduction of the comprehensive CCPost suite for vastly enhanced closed-captioning workflow at post houses using the HD485.

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