AJA upgrades FS-HDR real-time HDR/WCG converter and frame synchroniser

AJA Video Systems has introduced FS-HDR v4.1 for its real-time HDR/WCG converter and frame synchroniser. Available now as a free firmware update, FS-HDR v4.1 features increased frame buffer depth from 6 to 20 frames, updated v1.5 BBC HLG LUTs, new NBCU LUTs, expanded closed captioning support and a new ability to pass-through or translate critical ancillary data – even while performing a conversion.

During the pandemic, expanded use of augmented reality and virtual cameras that require additional processing time has surged for live productions, demanding longer synchronisation periods for other sources. In response, FS-HDR v4.1 increases the device’s frame buffer depth to support configurable delays of up to 20 frames. This free update is available to all FS-HDR users and does not require a hardware change.

For production professionals looking to simplify HDR workflows and take advantage of the latest BBC HLG LUT developments, FS-HDR v4.1 extends support to v1.5 BBC HLG LUTs. Newly released v1.5 BBC HLG LUTs add two new LUTs for direct mapping and up-mapping conversions for SDR BT.2020 to HLG BT.2100, and improved colour saturation in display light HLG BT.2100 to SDR BT.709 down-mapping conversions.

FS-HDR v4.1 also adds support for new NBCU LUTs, developed by NBCUniversal Media in collaboration with Cromorama, to enable a workflow for single-master production of simultaneous HDR and SDR content with the highest quality possible. NBCU LUTs include SDR, HLG and PQ LUTs that maximise the dynamic range and colour volume in HDR, without compromising core SDR broadcasts.

In response to industry demand and user feedback, FS-HDR v4.1 increases ancillary data pass-through or translation capabilities for a wide range of formats and conversions. In transmission applications requiring the use of SCTE-104 markers for ad insertion, FS-HDR will now automatically pass-through SCTE-104 packets. FS-HDR’s new Timecode Xlator will pass-through or translate ancillary timecode (LTC, VITC1, or VITC2). Additionally, FS-HDR v4.1 expands the set of conversions that support pass-through of closed captioning.

“As HDR production and delivery workflows continue to evolve, AJA is at the forefront of pioneering new tools like this latest FS-HDR v4.1 update that help professionals achieve the most vivid and colour accurate HDR and WCG content,” said Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems.

Brad Cheney, VP, field operations and engineering, Fox Sports, explained: “As sports fans have come to expect a more dynamic, interactive experience, AR is quickly becoming a common production addition, but one that requires tons of video processing. Since we already had a number of FS-HDRs in place, we talked to the team at AJA about our need for an increased frame buffer on the device to support these workflows, and with FS-HDR v4.1, they’ve delivered.

“AJA’s commitment to innovation and its user base is evident via substantial firmware updates like FS-HDR v4.1, which brings more value to customers without requiring new hardware and helps them stay ahead of evolving production requirements. We’ve already applied FS-HDR v4.1 to our MLB productions and look forward to integrating them across the board into our basketball, football and motorsports productions.”


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