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Snell & Wilcox Releases Comet at IBC

Cost-effective, open-standards ingest for a new era in IT broadcasting (September 10, 2004)

Snell & Wilcox announced today the European launch of its Comet Open Standards Ingest System at IBC2004 (Booth #1.431). Comet was developed for broadcasters that want to use the latest advances in compression and metadata technologies in conjunction with open standards-based storage and asset management systems.

Comet takes advantage of the recent standardization of the MXF (Material eXchange Format), the SMPTE DMS-1 Descriptive Metadata standard, and the RP-210 metadata dictionary as well as the latest AAF Edit Protocol to empower broadcasters to create multi-vendor systems with complete interoperability, and to begin a move away from costly proprietary storage and asset management systems.

"Comet's open standards approach will revolutionize the economics of broadcasting because it frees users from the tyranny of proprietary storage, news and asset management systems that today must often be purchased from a single vendor to ensure interoperability," said Joe Zaller, Snell & Wilcox Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. "The lack of interoperability between systems from different vendors and the inability to move files among them has been one of the most significant challenges facing broadcasters. Comet changes this by enabling broadcasters to pick and choose products from vendors who adopt newly available open standards such as AAF and MXF. The result will be easy file exchange between systems; lower cost generic computer hardware for use in broadcast facilities; and new opportunities for our customers to revolutionize their workflow for more efficient, profitable operations."

Comet offers an extensive set of tools for operators who must ingest large amounts of program material into a file-based form. These include:
* Interoperability: Interoperate with storage and asset management systems through the exchange of MXF, AAF, and XML files
* Intuitive user interface: Simple and robust operation
* Template-based: Customized workflow to address any specific framework and speed-up annotation entry while minimizing typing and errors
* Ingest: SDI sources using built-in high-quality MPEG compressor or via pre-compressed SDTI streams from D-10 compatible VTRs
* QC: Automated video quality control based on Mosalina technology
* Annotate: Uses SMPTE standard tags to identify important metadata and ensure its reuse for interchange and repurposing
* Collaborate: Fully networked workgroup infrastructures
* Customize: Mold assets to user requirements and generate multiple variants in terms of wrapper and compression

The Comet platform leverages several core Snell & Wilcox IT technologies. These include the MetaShare collaborative metadata server, MXF Express engine, Mosalina Quality Control software and MediaX High Bandwidth PCI Multi-Codec. The combination of these powerful technologies represents the basis for a broadcast facility of the future. Comet's technical specification includes:
  Multi-format SD input / output (SDI, SDTI, SDTI-CP/D-10 support)
  Superior real-time compression at MPEG-2 4:2:2 (or 4:2:0) I-frame for a range of bit rates up to 50 Mbps at Constant Bit Rate (CBR) and Variable Bit Rate (VBR)
  Multiple file-wrapper support (MXF, AVI, M2V, WAV, AAF, etc.)
  Sony RS-422 VTR control
  Built-in D-VITC support
  Optional LTC / VITC support

About Snell & Wilcox
Snell & Wilcox, the leader in its field, delivers technologies and products that enable television and satellite broadcasters, post production facilities, film makers, 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.

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Related Keywords:Snell & Wilcox, Comet, IBC, ingest, Comet Open Standards Ingest System, compression, storage, asset management, MXF, Material eXchange Format, AAF Edit Protocol, SMPTE DMS-1 Descriptive Metadata, Joe Zaller, Mosalina, MetaShare, MXF Express, Mosalina Quality Control, MediaX High Bandwidth PCI Multi-Codec,

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