Community Media Center of Marin Deploys Cobalt Digital Cross-Converter at Nonprofit Marin TV

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — March 29, 2017 — Cobalt Digital today announced that Community Media Center of Marin (CMCM), operator of Marin TV, is using a Cobalt BBG-1002-UDX stand-alone cross-converter to ensure its various incoming programs play out on a mixture of HD internet-streamed channels and SD cable channels while maintaining the correct picture formats. CMCM is a nonprofit organization providing residents of Marin County, California, with access to communication technologies, media training, and the latest digital tools to create original content for cable TV and online media. Marin TV is Marin County’s set of noncommercial community, educational, and governmental cable channels.

“Cost is always a big concern for nonprofit television programmers, which made the BBG-1002-UDX an especially good solution for CMCM,” said Thomas Walsh, CEO of Media Control Systems, the company that proposed and implemented the Cobalt Digital solution. “The BBG-1002-UDX gives the broadcaster a professional-grade, multifunctional conversion solution with exceptional performance at an affordable price.”

CMCM plays back a mix of legacy standard-definition (SD) programs and new high-definition (HD) video files from 23 different sources to four television channels. CMCM also takes in many external satellite and regional program feeds in both SD and HD. Many of the sources have previously been converted from HD to SD or vice versa, with black conversion bars on the top, bottom, or sides of the pictures. CMCM uses the BBG-1002-UDX on the output of each channel to take the sources of mixed formats and files and play them out correctly on HD and SD channels, without black bars and without stretching, squeezing, or cutting off part of the picture.

Unlike most converters, which require three to four seconds to react, the BBG-1002-UDX can recognize the input format so quickly that it can convert the input to the desired output in just a few frames’ worth of time. The BBG-1002-UDX reads the AFD codes on the input source programs, so it knows if the source has been previously converted, which in turn means it can apply the correct output conversion without double-converting.

Instead of having to put a converter on each of the 23 input sources, CMCM only needed one converter for each of the output channels. In other words, CMCM only had to invest in eight converters — one for each of four HD internet channels and one for each of the four SD cable TV channels. In addition to the BBG-1002-UDX’s cross-conversion capabilities, it also provides value-added audio-level management and digital frame synchronization.

“Our staff invests in opportunities initiated by customers in the field to develop effective and efficient solutions for professional broadcast operations, like the ones in public, education, and government facilities,” said Bob McAlpine, CEO of Cobalt Digital. “Besides being multifunctional, the Cobalt cross-converter Media Control Systems put in place at CMCM minimized the number of converters required for the job. Cobalt’s product design and versatility made the case for optimal performance.”

The stand-alone BBG-1002-UDX is also available as a high-density openGear(R) card module. More information about Cobalt Digital and its products is available at

# # #

About Cobalt Digital
Cobalt Digital Inc. designs and manufactures award-winning 12G/3G/HD/SD and IP-based conversion, terminal, throwdown, and multiviewer technology for the broadcast television environment. As a founding partner in the openGear(R) initiative, Cobalt offers a full range of openGear video and audio processing card solutions for applications such as closed-caption compliance monitoring, OB production, master control, HD news production, signal transport, audio loudness, and color correction. Cobalt’s Blue Box Group(TM) line of interface converter boxes streamlines and simplifies a wide range of 12G/3G/HD/SD and IP-based conversion and signal transport tasks. The company’s multi-image display processors enable multiviewer capabilities in the most demanding studio and remote broadcasting environments. Distributed through a worldwide network of dealers, system integrators, and other partners, Cobalt Digital products are backed with a five-year warranty. More information is available at

Photo Link:
Photo Caption: Cobalt BBG-1002-UDX Stand-Alone Cross-Converter

Visit Cobalt Digital at the 2017 NAB Show, Booth N3308

Share it on

Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource