Arena Television streamlined HDR and SDR workflows for FA Cup Final

Broadcaster opts for AJA FS-HDR

Arena Television deployed a HDR workflow to deliver the FA Cup Final broadcast in HDR and SDR using AJA FS-HDR, FS4 and Hi5-4K-Plus Mini-Converters, among other gear.

OBZ Production front desk, quarter-res (Source: AJA Video Systems)

HDR displays are not yet standard in most homes. Although video, acquired in HDR and delivered in SDR, can enhance the viewing experience. Production teams looking at how they can best deliver simultaneous live HDR and SDR feeds.

Drawing on its experiences with clients, Arena Television has established a single HDR workflow concept to deliver live broadcasts in HDR and SDR, with SDR gaining from the HDR source and transformation. Recently deployed during the FA Cup Final broadcast, the workflow harnesses AJA’s FS-HDR HDR converter/frame sync, FS4 converter/frame-sync, and Hi5-4K-Plus Mini-Converters.

BBC Sport chose to acquire footage in HDR for the FA Cup Final, but also produce an HD SDR feed, as it knew most of the audience would watch the match in that format.

Arena’s workflow includes a myriad of equipment, starting with Grass Valley cameras that output the main feeds in HLG or PQ HDR. 3G-SDI outputs are then fed into AJA FS-HDR for conversion to SDR for shading. For replays, slowed down replay materials are fed through FS-HDR for pass-on for simultaneous SDR and HDR output. Additional materials that require HD to 4K up conversion are then run through an AJA FS4 to ensure pristine 4K output. Pre-recorded SDR materials are then fed from an EVS device to an FS-HDR for SDR to HDR transformations. After the content is routed through other equipment, an AJA Hi5-4K-Plus enables SDI to 4K HDR HDMI monitoring. Graphics for each broadcast start as 4K SDR sources that are sent through a combination of FS-HDRs and FS4s. The FS-HDRs support 4K SDR to 4K HDR conversion and processing of the graphics fill, while an FS4 is used to control the key delay for final sync up of the two items that are then fed into an EVS server. Cisco products are used as a routing backbone throughout the pipeline.

Arena mainly wants to minimize the likelihood of feed failure, which could be catastrophic to the broadcast and its reputation. They will continue to refine its single HDR workflow concept with each new production it takes on and collaborate with AJA’s development team as it does.

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