Frame-Rate Synchronizers Take the Browns Closer to Full HD

By Andrew Lippe
HD frame-rate conversion remains a key issue for sports networks and sports franchises. The NFL’s Cleveland Browns needed to downconvert HD signals to SD for scoreboard video. The Cleveland Browns installed nine FOR-A FA9100 HD frame synchronizers in their control room prior to the start of the season to synchronize all the cameras and replay devices in Cleveland Browns stadium.
“The Cleveland Browns’ control room was ill equipped to handle HD feeds,” says Anthony Klick, Eastern regional sales manager at FOR-A. The FA-9100 works by receiving HD-signal feeds from the multitude of mobile units outside the stadium. The Browns are not fully HD yet and thus need to downconvert the HD video signals from the trucks to SD to have instant replay on the Daktronics scoreboard.
“The Browns are in a slow migratory path to high-definition, and this made sense in the early steps towards an HD upgrade for the entire stadium,” says Klick. “We worked very tightly with them to meet their budgetary guidelines.”
The FOR-A FA9100 HD frame synchronizers have up-, down- and cross-conversion capability, a color corrector, median-based noise reduction, logo generator, and a Dolby-E decoder in a compact 1RU size. The synchronizers were demonstrated and tested on-site by the Cleveland Browns staff. “The last thing anybody wants,” says Klick, “is a product they are not familiar with and is difficult to figure out.”
FOR-A also played an important role over the weekend. Bruce Goldfeder, director of engineering for CBS Sports, rented FOR-A FRC-7000 HD frame-rate converters to convert 1080i signals sent back to the U.S. for the San Diego Chargers-New Orleans Saints game played in Wembley Stadium in London. Galaxy Light and Power in the UK met with CBS Sports prior to the game and helped coordinate the smooth transmission of signals to the U.S.