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Live Czech Philharmonic Concert Productions Hit a High Note with Help from AJA Gear

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Prague’s Czech Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra has broadened its global footprint in recent years by transforming the Rudolfinum concert hall, where it performs, into an international stage via live video broadcast and streaming technology. Rudolfinum Technical Supervisor Dušan Bajtoš is responsible for the venue’s production workflow, which supports concert broadcasts and streams to European Television channels Czech TV, MEZZO TV, ARTE, and European Classical TV; social streaming platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Meta; and many other distribution points. To ensure the highest quality experience across viewing platforms and device types, he opted to produce concerts in UltraHD HDR end-to-end and has come to rely on a host of AJA equipment for execution.

“When approached for this job, it was one of the first UltraHD HDR projects in the region, and I like a good challenge,” Bajtoš said. “Anyone who has watched UltraHD HDR content can see the difference in quality, not to mention that most consumers already have UltraHD HDR-capable displays at home, so this path made sense. With tools like AJA FS-HDR, we can raise the caliber of our signal output and deliver a viewing experience audiences can enjoy a lot easier.”

To provide global viewers with different perspectives during each concert stream, the team leverages four manned cameras and six robotic cameras controlled from the director’s room on-site. Ahead of each concert, they comprise a shot list that describes the angle, timing, and length of shots per camera, as well as the object or artist to be put into focus. From the director’s room, Bajtoš and his team execute the production, leaning on a collection of displays to monitor the feeds and make color and exposure adjustment calls. Signal conversion – between camera log formats, HDR and SDR, and UltraHD and HD – is crucial to each transmission, which is where Bajtoš uses AJA FS-HDR. The HDR/WCG converter/frame synchronizer lets the team convert the output to match each delivery partner’s requirements, be it 4K HDR, HD HDR, or HD SDR.

“Prior to adopting FS-HDR, our committee tested several solutions to assess the quality of conversion, but none compared to FS-HDR,” he explained. “It wraps such an extensive range of algorithms into an affordable device and helps us meet nearly any conversion need. We also love the various modes it offers, from the Colorfront Engine Live Mode to BBC HLG LUTs Mode and the NBCU LUTs mode, which has really impressed us.”

In addition to FS-HDR, across productions, Bajtoš also leverages an AJA KUMO 1616 12G-SDI router, which is integrated into the robotic camera head system to support automatic camera switching. The pipeline further uses an AJA HELO H.264 video streamer and recorder for reliable recording to USB drives that can be handed off to the crew and director after the production wraps. An AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G 4K/UltraHD/HD recorder and player/multi-channel HD recorder is used for Apple ProRes backup recording.

“HELO has proven to be an incredibly reliable streaming and recording device that makes it easy for us to quickly share concert recordings for crew needs and director reviews. Like all our AJA gear, it just works,” concluded Bajtoš.

For more information about the Czech Philharmonic, visit: https://www.ceskafilharmonie.cz/en/

About AJA FS-HDR
FS-HDR is a powerful universal converter/frame synchronizer designed specifically to meet the High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WGC) needs of broadcast, OTT, production, post, and live event AV environments, where real time, low latency processing and color fidelity is required for 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD workflows. Developed in partnership with Colorfront, the FS-HDR’s HDR/WCG functionality is powered by the Colorfront Engine proprietary video processing algorithms. www.aja.com/fs-hdr

About AJA KUMO
AJA routers provide a convenient dense routing solution in lightweight, compact form factors for use in facilities, OB trucks, post suites and more. KUMO is available in multiple connector densities, in 3G-SDI and 12G-SDI options. KUMO is easy to update, configure, and control with optional Control Panels for quick physical access to source and destination routing, with convenient USB ports for IP configuration, plus all models offer integrated web browser access across a network over the built-in Ethernet connection. https://www.aja.com/family/routers

About AJA HELO Plus
AJA HELO Plus, the predecessor to AJA HELO, is a compact, advanced H.264 streaming and recording stand-alone appliance. HELO Plus offers both SDI and HDMI I/O with the capability to stream up to 1080p60 to a content delivery network and record simultaneously. Two separate streaming destinations can be set up and recordings can be made to a combination of SD card, USB storage and NFS or CIFS network storage. HELO Plus also provides Picture-In-Picture graphics and functionality in hardware for compelling presentations made simple. https://www.aja.com/helo-plus

About AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G
Ki Pro Ultra 12G is a multi-channel Apple ProRes recorder offering up to 4-Channels of simultaneous HD recording, or in Single-Channel mode, a 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR recorder and player. Avid DNxHD MXF is also supported up to HD formats in Single-Channel mode. Ki Pro Ultra 12G offers 12G-SDI single cable simplicity for large rasters up to full 4K, (the 4x 3G-SDI inputs/outputs can be used for Quad Link operations as required) and HDMI 2.0 digital video connectivity with HDR support for both recording and playback. A wealth of analog and digital audio connectivity answers any project’s demand for efficient, powerful and flexible workflows. For distance and remote needs, 12G and 3G Fiber SFP+ options are available. Ki Pro Ultra 12G also offers the ability to record genlock free sources with frame sync support on inputs. Designed to be either portable or rackmountable with half rack wide, 2RU high dimensions, Ki Pro Ultra 12G is well suited for use in any environment. www.aja.com/ki-pro-ultra-12g

About AJA Video Systems
Since 1993, AJA Video Systems has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high quality, cost effective products to the professional broadcast, video and post production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.

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