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Using Active Format Description – Output HD as SD

Last year at the NAB Show,  Motorola announced support for Active Format Description (AFD) in its MPEG encoding products. So it seems appropriate that this year around NAB time I have an on-site video to post showing AFD at work. In the video above, Motorola exec Marty Stein describes how AFD automates the output format of HD video on an SD display while showing simultaneous broadcasts of a clip on HD and SD screens. There’s a bit of background noise, but the main audio is still pretty clear. Just consider it authentic show floor material.

And if you’re looking for more Motorola videos out of NAB, take a look at the Motorola for Business account on YouTube. It gets updated during every major trade show.

5 Responses

  1. Ahh AFD, I really like the idea of it, yet no network (broadcast or pay) that I’m aware uses it yet. Cool that it can be supported in Moto’s digital cable infrastructure though :)

  2. I’m guessing it’ll happen along with the transition to MPEG-4.

  3. Our cable provider is Rogers in Canada. Both our 4×3 screen using a Rogers Digital Box and my computer with direct cable connection were producing images cut off at the right and left edges when a 16×9 picture was broadcast by WNED (PBS) in Buffalo/Toronto. This was especially noticeable with captions or titles or other text cut off on the right or left sides. This past few weeks (exact date not known) our cable signals switch to letterbox the instant the program source changes from 4×3 to 16×9. This would have to be done by Rogers Cable responding to the AFD information sent out from WNED. Three cheers for a wonderful addition to the WNEDs signal that Rogers is making excellent use of!! I called an engineer at WNED and he seemed delighted to hear that this was working so well at out end.

  4. You write awsome article, bookmarked

  5. Good work, i found your blog in google, it’s very interesting, keep us posting

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