EWTN purchases Blackmagic processors for US HQ
WORLD: Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is now using seven Blackmagic Design Teranex 2D Processors at its Irondale, Alabama headquarters for up-conversion, aspect ratio conversion, frame syncs and PAL to NTSC standards conversion. The global Catholic network is reported to be the ‘world’s largest’ religious media outlet, operating nine SD TV channels broadcast in English, Spanish, French and German throughout the US, as well as one feed in Canada.
The organisation also has HD English and Spanish channels and AM and FM radio stations with more than 200 affiliates in the US, as well as an online presence comprising nine channels of 24/7 live streaming and video on demand.
EWTN initially purchased two Teranex 2D Processors to launch its US Spanish Channel in HD, which were put to use for up-converting SD signals before sending out as an MPEG4 satellite stream. ‘With one easy to use piece of equipment we had our HD Spanish channel up and running,’ said David Brantley, senior director of Engineering, EWTN. ‘We quickly realised that the Teranex 2D Processors had a lot more functionality to them, and they seamlessly transitioned to additional uses.’
EWTN reports that it found the Teranex 2D Processors particularly useful when receiving video from around the globe, including an around the clock fibre feed from Rome and another from a cathedral in Germany, for which EWTN uses two Teranex 2D Processors for PAL to NTSC standards conversion, frame sync and aspect ratio conversion at its downlink stations.
Three additional Teranex 2D Processors are used as 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratio converters for EWTN’s two control room outputs prior to satellite uplink. When a 4:3 signal comes in, it is automatically routed through the Teranex 2D Processors, while 16:9 signals bypass the step, saving EWTN time and effort on patching and routing.
‘Before, we took the feed from the downlink receiver, routed it through a standards converter for PAL to NTSC conversion and patched it through a frame sync,’ Mr Brantley continued. ‘Then, if it was a 4:3 feed, we would have to go through an aspect ratio adjustment to get it to 16:9, and if we wanted to send that signal to one of our HD satellite uplinks, we would have to up convert it. All these separate processes needed separate pieces of equipment. We simplified that process by being able to do everything via Teranex.
‘With more and more affiliates opening up throughout the world, including our own office in Rome and our upcoming work with Radio Horeb in Germany, we will continue to rely on the Teranex 2D Processors for up, down, standards and aspect ratio conversion,’ he concluded.