Format conversion is a term used to describe processing applied to media content without a change of frame rate. Upconverting content from SD to HD, downconverting from HD to SD, or cross-conversion between HD standards (e.g. 1080 50i to 720 50p) would all be types of format conversion. Format conversion also encompasses aspect ratio conversion, which may be part of the up or down conversion, or may be needed independently e.g. to convert an SD 4:3 picture to SD 16:9.What features do I need to consider when choosing a format converter?
Conversion quality is key to maintaining the value of your content. Stunning HD pictures need careful processing to ensure they still look good when downconverted to SD. Upconversion of SD content to HD needs management to ensure preservation of all the available resolution. Motion adaptive conversion is usually the best choice as it enables still areas to be converted with maximum resolution, without blurring moving areas.
Other important factors are frame-accurate aspect ratio conversion, metadata handling (including closed caption and subtitle pass-through or transcoding), audio management (delay, gain, shuffling), and flexible I/O (including SDI, fiber and composite).
Practical elements such as density and price are also important.
What does Snell offer?
Snell has just introduced a new range of low-cost, high density format converters : the “30 Series“.
The 30 series format converter range is based on a single IQ platform module built in a variety of versions to suit a large number of applications and price points.
The new platform couples motion adaptive Broadcast quality conversion with a wealth of input and output types including: SDI and AES digital video and audio, analog video and audio (including HDMI), fiber and GPIs. This is ideal for handling a wide variety of common applications such as up-conversion for SD content repurposing on HD channels, or downconversion to maintain SD output feeds.
In particular, the dual channel IQUDC31 module is ideally suited to simulcast applications where customers need to transmit both SD and HD versions of the same service.
What are the key features of the “30 Series” converters?
- High quality up, down and cross conversion
- Frame synchronizer
- Aspect ratio conversion
- Aspect ratio control (signalling reading and writing) using ETSI WSS and AFD Video Index signaling (RP186, SMPTE 2016)
- Video processing including gain, offset, hue, horizontal and vertical picture enhancement, and RGB gamut legalization
- Metadata support – Closed caption passing or processing for CEA608/708 and OP42/OP47/WST captions, and VITC or SMPTE12M timecode translation
- Processing for 16 channels of embedded audio per incoming SDI stream
- Audio processing including channel routing, gain, invert, and delay
- Integrated Fiber I/O and HDMI support via SFP module
- Full RollCall and SNMP compatibility