The National Football League’s Cleveland Browns have chosen high-definition capable frame synchronizers from FOR-A as part of the team’s gradual upgrade to HD.
FOR-A’s FA9100 HD frame synchronizers will allow the team’s scoreboard control room to receive HD signals from trucks and production units outside Cleveland Browns Stadium and then downconvert those signals to standard-definition so instant replays can be played on the stadium’s scoreboard.
Teams and stadiums have been reluctant to upgrade to HD for signals used in the stadium on the scoreboard and other displays because of the high costs, which can total several million dollars, said FOR-A Corp. eastern regional sales manager Anthony Klick.
“The control rooms in the stadiums tend to be all standard-definition and they don’t see the need to rapidly upgrade for signals that aren’t going to be broadcast,” he said. “But that goes against what is happening in the broadcast world. As all the broadcasters go HD, you get a lot of HD trucks outside the stadium and they need to deal with those signals.”
“They don’t want to spend several million to upgrade the control room so they are doing it in bits and pieces,” he said. “The FA 9100 HD frame synchronizer allows them to take in any HD flavor and spit it out in HD or SD or down-convert it for use in the control rooms and scoreboards.”
Klick expects that it will take about three years for the Browns to make the complete transition to HD.
The price of the product, its ability to handle a wide variety of formats and the fact that it is extremely easy to use, all played a role in the Brown’s decision to acquire the frame synchronizers, said Klick.
The deal with the Browns has been part of the company’s strategy of expanding its business in the sports arena, Klick added. He also noted recent successes among smaller broadcast station groups and in the cable world, where they’ve done business with such companies as Cox Communications, QVC, Comcast’s CN8 and Cablevision Systems’ News 12.