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Metro Broadcast Boosts HD Capability With Snell & Wilcox

Integrates Ukon Universal Conversion Platform for added flexibility (May 19, 2005)

The U.K.'s Metro Broadcast has added flexible SD and HD conversion capability to its VT duplication and restoration areas with the integration of the Snell & Wilcox Ukon universal conversion platform.

A shared resource in the facility's machine room, the Ukon is being used as an upconverter for restoration on a Snell & Wilcox Archangel Ph.C system and as a duplication tool for the company's increasing volume of HD mastering work. The addition of the Ukon has given Metro Broadcast the ability not only to crossconvert 24p masters to formats such as 25 or 60 fps as required, but also to upconvert SD material for HD broadcast.

"We receive a lot of masters in 24p, and until we began using the Ukon, there was no straightforward way to up- or downconvert material in that format," said Richard Baker, media and operations manager at Metro Broadcast. "We do envision the HD market expanding quite rapidly over the next year to 18 months, and the added conversion capability we have with the Ukon gives us significantly greater flexibility in the HD environment. It's a simple yet highly functional solution that makes our work much easier."

The Ukon has enabled Metro Broadcast to take on SD-to-HD conversion projects, and among the most notable has been the company's conversion of a Cadillac commercial, originally produced in SD, to HD for playout during the HD broadcast of Super Bowl IX this past February. Metro Broadcast was able to integrate the Ukon into its operations quickly, and it proved to be a "plug-in-and-go" solution that delivered a new level of flexibility in handling format conversion.

Snell & Wilcox's Ukon provides upconversion, downconversion, and crossconversion, either singly or in any combination. Designed to handle different frame rates, image sizes, and aspect ratios, the system includes features such as tilt, pan and zoom, timecode conversion with precise frame mapping, comprehensive audio handling, and 3:2 cadence detection and repair. Unlike any other format conversion system, Ukon executes all these functions at the same time, in a single pass. Frequently used conversions can be programmed for reuse at the touch of a button.

"With the Archangel Ph.C and Alchemist, and now the Ukon, we're quite a big Snell & Wilcox house," concluded Baker. "We've expanded our HD operations significantly, and with the Ukon being an integral part of our facility, we're able to offer clients an exceptionally versatile conversion unit with performance surpassing that of other available solutions."

About Metro Broadcast
Metro Broadcast has 25 years' experience in providing pioneering services to the broadcast market. The company, which has offices in London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, offers an unrivalled range of services including crewing, editing, duplication, restoration, equipment rental, live events, webcasting, and digital media -- all under one roof. Metro Broadcast was one of the first companies in the U.K. to invest in high definition -- a demonstration of the company's commitment to technological excellence and the technical expertise of its staff.

More information about Metro Broadcast's work is available online at

About Snell & Wilcox
Snell & Wilcox, the leader in its field, delivers technologies and products that enable television and satellite broadcasters, post-production facilities, filmmakers, and communications professionals to move content seamlessly between analog, digital, high definition, and file-based systems and to bridge the world's multiplicity of line/field and color standards. The company provides switchers and keyers, standards conversion systems, networked infrastructure components, and products for noise reduction, image enhancement, and restoration. In business since 1973, Snell & Wilcox maintains its U.S. headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., and European headquarters in Hampshire, U.K. Additional offices are located in New York, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia.

Visit for more information.


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Related Keywords:Snell & Wilcox, Metro Broadcast, Ukon, Conversion, restoration, Archangel Ph.C, HD mastering, upconversion, downconversion, crossconversion, Alchemist,

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