FOR-A FRC-7000 Handles HD Frame Rates for "Live Earth" Broadcasts

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Last Updated: July 13, 2007 2:35 pm GMT
(CYPRESS, CA, July 13, 2007) FOR-A Company Limited, a leading manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, supplied several FRC-7000 HD frame rate converter to organizers of this year's mega-concert for a climate in crisis, "Live Earth."


"Live Earth" is a multi-national 24-hour concert that took place July 7th, 2007. The event was broadcast worldwide through television, radio, internet and wireless channels. Nine official concerts were staged across seven continents. They were held at Giants Stadium in New York, Wembley Stadium in London, Aussie Stadium in Sydney, Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Marapeng at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg, Makuhari Messe in Tokyo, the Steps of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai and HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg as well as an additional free concert hosted by Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian 'Mother Earth' Event for Climate Change in the Spirit of Live Earth Project in Washington, D.C.. Headliners include rock and pop music icons such as The Police, Genesis, Bon Jovi, and Madonna as well as recent stars like Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson.

In order for a broadcast of this magnitude to be successfully received throughout the world, a reliable frame rate converter was needed to handle the various HD frame rates used globally. Transmission Manager for Live Earth, Bob Adler, said he knew exactly who to call: "Because the FRC-7000 is a very specialized piece of equipment, it met our needs perfectly. This event required us to deal with just about every possible HD frame rate in use today."

Four of the nine major concert venues, New York, London, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, were equipped with an FRC-7000 on site. The units include the enhanced optional feature that allows production crews to make the proper conversions before transmitting into the central location, the BBC in London. For example, Tokyo converted their 30p frame rate for reception to London to 25p, the UK standard as well as many other parts of the world.

"This was critical because before we could send the signal out again, it needed to conform to one type of format to make it a true world feed. In the case of the outgoing transmission to the United States and Canada, we used the FRC-7000 in London to send it back the other way. The equipment handled the multiple conversions with ease," added Adler. There were instances were conversion prior to transmission was not possible, so additional FRC-7000 units were in place in London to manage those feeds. For example, an FRC-7000 located at the BBC in London was used to convert the transmission sent from a second location in Japan at the Toji temple in Kyoto.

Several FRC-7000 units were in place at Giants Stadium in New York and Wembley Stadium in London. Both venues are considered the "anchor" sites of the concert event. These locations therefore needed to be able to support multiple formats for inbound and outbound signals. All Mobile Video (AMV) handled providing the uplink out of the Giants Stadium location through its Gateway transmission facility. "Our company is proud to have provided transmission services for such a high profile event as the Live Earth concert," said Lenny Laxer, VP of Operations at AMV, "Our experience has taught us that when dealing with events of this magnitude; equipment capability can make or break you. The FRC-7000 has proven its reliability before and it performed well on the day of the show."

The FRC-7000 will also help broadcasters enhance the public's experience of the Live Earth event. For example CTV, Canada's largest broadcaster received the direct world feed from London, which originated in HD1080i 50i. CTV edited that feed for broadcast on a variety of channels: CTV, Much Music, Much More Music, Bravo and Star, allowing viewers greater selection in that they can choose which artists they'd most like to see. CTV first converted the feed it to HD 1080i 60i before they began the edit process. The FRC-7000 unit at CTV and other units on location at TV2GO, a satellite and transmission uplink provider also in Canada assisted CTV in the necessary conversions

The FRC-7000 debuted in 2006 and has the ability to convert between 1080/59.94i and 1080/50i, and between 720/59.94p and 720/50p HD frame rates in realtime. At NAB 2007, FOR-A unveiled new enhanced features including advanced scene cut detection and roll/crawl text detection. The FRC-7000 uses vector motion compensation processing to analyze and determine the pixel movement in each image frame. This is accomplished by comparing the movement in the frames before and after the ones being converted.

The FRC-7000's advanced scene cut detection automatically detects scene changes and turns off motion compensation processing so as to not affect the scenes before and after the frames being converted. A complete, new set of frames is then created in the required output standard.

The FRC-7000 supports eight-channel 48 kHz 24-bit embedded audio signals in sync with the video clock. There is also a delay function for synchronization with video processing. The system offers an optional embed/de-embed card to allow eight channels of AES/EBU audio to be extracted or inserted into the HD-SDI signals.


FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A's product line, call 1-714-894-3311 or visit our web site at http://www.for-a.com

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