NAB Perspectives: AJA’s Nick Rashby Focuses on Digital Backend

The year 2011 is poised to be a year of aggressive product development for AJA Video Systems, and President Nick Rashby says several of those products are particularly well-suited for sports.

“Our new FiDOs [fiber digital optical converters] use the ST connector, which has been in hot demand from sports broadcasters and sports facilities because it’s the only connector that can’t get yanked out,” Rashby explains. “They’ve really been asking for that, and that’s a significant offering.”

The Hi5-Fiber mini converter, a fiber-optic version of the Hi5, also features that ST connector. The $695 Hi5-Fiber converts HD/SD-SDI to HDMI and will be available this summer.

“This is a great advantage for sports arenas, where you can run 10 km of fiber carrying SDI signals to HDMI displays,” Rashby says. “It uses the ST fiber connector that is locking and really reliable for installations and broadcast environments.”

Across the sports space, he says, the continued digitization of the industry is his most-watched topic.

“I think it’s the continued move to a digital backend and delivering things over commodity technologies like IT-level fiber,” he adds. “That’s where we’re focusing our efforts. We’re also trying to be density-sensitive, cramming more channels into one RU and things like that.”