AJA Delivers FS4 Upgrades with v3.0 Firmware
AJA Video Systems today released new v3.0 firmware for its FS4 frame 4K/UltraHD and multi-channel HD synchronizer and up/down/cross converter. Loaded with new feature improvements, the free update offers production professionals support for advanced HDR workflows; increased frame buffering depth from 6 to 20 frames; enhanced ancillary data management; and improved overall usability.
During the pandemic, expanded use of augmented reality and virtual cameras that require additional processing time surged for live productions, demanding longer synchronization periods for other sources. Incorporating the same enhancements as AJA FS-HDR, the FS4 v3.0 update increases the device’s frame buffer depth to support configurable delays of up to 20 frames. This free update is available to all FS4 users and does not require a hardware change.
As HDR productions are on the rise, the need for better VPID management is mandatory. Many pieces of equipment in the signal chain ignore or delete this now critical information. FS4 v3.0 offers the ability to configure the HDR components of the SDI output VPID on a channel-by-channel basis, which has proven vital to workflows that require a consistent and correct VPID. If utilizing the monitor output, overwriting the SDI VPID also overwrites the HDMI EOTF and Colorimetry infoframes. To further assist with HDR workflows, FS4 v3.0 also includes new HDR test patterns and an improved Web UI status page to display more VPID information.
In response to industry demand and user feedback, FS4 v3.0 also increases ancillary data pass-through or translation capabilities for a wide range of formats and conversions. In transmission applications requiring the use of SCTE-104 markers for ad insertion, FS4 will now automatically pass-through SCTE-104 packets. FS4’s new Timecode Xlator will pass-through or translate ancillary timecode (LTC, VITC1, or VITC2). The update also expands the set of conversions that support pass-through of Closed Captioning.
Additionally, Enhanced Single Channel Mode (ESC) offers simultaneous 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD outputs where the 2K/HD output can have its own unique down-conversion applied. In this mode, processing can be performed on a true 4K or UltraHD signal, and a down-converter is available for HD or SD needs via the SDI monitor output.
“FS4 v3.0 includes updates that are incredibly useful for working on major productions involving HDR and SDR. On a project this past summer, we realized that FS4 lacked the VPID management required to pass-through HDR/WCG colorimetry and transfer characteristic payload IDs, so we reached out to AJA,” shared Bexel Vice President and Chief Engineer and FS4 v3.0 beta tester Edd Bonner. “As usual, AJA came through, giving FS4 the ability to pass-through the original HDR/WCG video sources VPID or override it. It’s proven a total lifesaver, and AJA’s willingness to go above and beyond to care for clients like this is one of the many reasons we continue to invest in AJA gear.”
“When working on a major halftime production earlier this year, we needed to maintain an HDR signal path to the stadium control center for a complete stadium LED takeover, and FS4 processors, with the latest firmware from AJA, allowed us to pull it off seamlessly,” said Mobius Productions President Jason Rudolph, an early FS4 3.0 adopter. “We were able to take 12G-SDI HLG BT.2020 signals and convert them into quad link 3G-SDI, which allowed us to send the signals via fiber to stadium control while maintaining the HLG BT.2020 signaling through the entire signal chain. It worked flawlessly, and support from AJA was fantastic.”
“AJA remains committed to helping our customers tackle new production challenges head-on by advancing the capabilities of our tools via continued firmware updates, with FS4 v3.0 an example of integrating user feedback,” said AJA President Nick Rashby. “The latest update addresses key user requests, and delivers a host of new features to help professionals keep pace with modern demands in the field.”
Pricing and Availability
The update is available today as a free download from the AJA support page.
AJA FS4 is a four–channel 2K/HD/SD or 1-channel 4K/UltraHD frame synchronizer and up/down/cross-converter. The flagship frame synchronizer and converter offers incredible versatility and connectivity in a sleek 1RU frame to support a range of 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD/SD conversion needs, with a wealth of digital and optional 12G-SDI Fiber LC and 12G-SDI BNC SFP connectivity. Offering a wide range of connection options for both video and audio, FS4 can do the work of four separate devices in 2K/HD/SD or combine all processors and channels together for maximum flexibility for 4K/UltraHD productivity. For more details, visit: www.aja.com/products/fs4.
Enjoying the news? Sign up now for the Creative COW Newsletter!
Sign up for the Creative COW newsletter and get weekly updates on industry news, forum highlights, inspirational tutorials, tips, burning questions, and more! Receive bulletins from the largest, longest-running community dedicated to supporting professionals working in film, video, and audio.
Enter your email address, a first and last name, and let us know what you’d like to see more of in the message!