Surrey, UK-based OB broadcast specialist Arena Television, which works with clients including the BBC, ITV and Sky Sports, has developed an HDR workflow for delivering live broadcasts in HDR and SDR that was employed for the broadcast of the FA Cup Final in May of this year, according to AJA, which provided an array of HDR-aware gear for the event.
“The FA Cup Final production was the culmination of three years of work that involved collaboration between our team, the BBC, and AJA, as well as countless hours of R&D,” said Dafydd Rees, deputy director of operations, Arena TV, in a prepared statement released by AJA. “[AJA’s] FS-HDR was the key to unlocking the entire concept, giving us the highest possible quality HDR up- and down-mapping to bring audiences much more dynamic HDR and SDR pictures.”
The game was acquired with Grass Valley cameras that output the main feeds via 3G-SDI, in either HLG or PQ HDR, to the AJA FS-HDR for conversion to SDR for shading. Instant replays were also fed through the FS-HDR, which passed on SDR and HDR simultaneously. An AJA FS4 was used to upconvert HD signals to 4K.
Material pre-recorded in SDR was added to the feed by playing it from an EVS device into the FS-HDR for an SDR-to-HDR conversion. An AJA Hi5-4K-Plus allowed 3G-SDI feeds to be converted to HDMI 2.0 for HDR monitoring. Broadcast graphics were created in 4K SDR, then sent through a combination of FS-HDRs (for SDR-to-HDR conversion and processing) and FS4s (to control the key delay for final sync before the files are loaded on an EVS server).
Arena selected the AJA gear in part because of the FS-HDR’s dual power supplies, which would keep the box powered in case of a power supply failure.