Al Jazeera America Launches From New York City Facility with Cobalt Terminal Gear

Al Jazeera America a US-based news channel, recently launched on-air operations from its New York headquarters supported by a significant complement of Cobalt Digital modular terminal gear.

The network’s infrastructure comprises 60 each of Cobalt’s 4-channel 9400 series fiber transmit and receive cards for a total of 240 transmit and 240 receive channels packed into a compact 12 RU/12 HPF-9000 frame configuration. The equipment package also includes 19 frame synchronizers with embed/de-embed, 20 multi-functional 9061 up/down/cross converters, a number of distribution amplifiers, and several openGear® OGCP-9000 control panels. In addition, Al Jazeera installed Cobalt’s award-winning and robust multi-purpose 9901-UDX up/down/cross conversion module to address all signal processing requirements including loudness, audio loudness metering, Dolby® encode and decode, color correction, and fiber transmit/receive.

Cobalt's HPF-9000 Frame


“Cobalt’s gear provides extraordinary value,” explained Michael Marno, director of engineering - the Americas, Al Jazeera Media Network. “We looked at competitive equipment and by and large, Cobalt was the best bang for the buck, and the open architecture design of the openGear platform was very attractive. When we evaluated the quality, ease-of-use, flexibility and reliability, it was evident that Cobalt furnished the solution we sought.”

Al Jazeera America’s 23,000 square foot facility, located in mid-town Manhattan, was built out to include advanced technical facilities and an upgraded studio. The award-winning network provides both domestic and international news, and is available to more than 40 million households via all the major carriers. The facility supports twelve US bureaus that are situated in major cities throughout the nation.


“We are delighted to participate in Al Jazeera America’s debut,” commented Klick. “They were determined to fit a sizeable amount of gear in a small footprint and maximize mid-town Manhattan real-estate. We were pleased to accommodate with 480 total channels in only 12 of our HPF-9000 high-power frames.”

“Cobalt’s team, headed by Anthony Klick, made themselves available and supported us through the entire process,” added Marno. “They allowed us to evaluate different models and guided us from selection through configuration. They made amazing deliverables when we thought it would be impossible. All in all, Anthony and his team made it a very smooth experience.”


Cobalt Digital Inc. designs and manufactures award-winning 3G/HD/SD-SDI conversion gear for the broadcast television environment. Distributed through a worldwide network of dealers, system integrators, and other partnerships, Cobalt products are backed with a 5-year warranty.