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Snell & Wilcox Shows "Future-Proof" Solutions at SATIS

French debut of Grain Management System, Kahuna, and expanded IQ Line (November 02, 2004)

At SATIS 2004 Snell & Wilcox is unveiling new products and technologies that underscore the company's commitment to giving customers solutions that deliver value today while providing a clear upgrade path for the future. One of the key highlights of the company's exhibit is the first showing in France of Kahuna, the industry's most advanced production switcher.

"Every customer is at a different place in the continuum from analog to digital, from digital to HD, and from HD to file-based operations," says Patrice Affret, Directeur, Snell & Wilcox France. "At whatever point they find themselves, Snell & Wilcox has a solution for them. We want customers to know that they can buy with confidence from S&W today with the knowledge that we'll be there for them in the future."

The Kahuna HD/SD Production Switcher: A Breakthrough in Design and Operation
Snell & Wilcox's Kahuna is the first production switcher on the market to offer simultaneous high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) operations in the same mainframe with the same control panel. It is also the first switcher to enable the seamless integration of SD sources into HD productions without upconversion. The future-proof flexibility of the system enables users to work initially in SD-only or HD-only mode, and then to upgrade to multiformat SD/HD operation whenever they choose. In multiformat SD/HD mode Kahuna users can mix existing SD camera feeds, graphics, handheld shots, and archive footage directly into an HD production with no need to purchase expensive HD upgrades or extra HD upconversion equipment. This not only provides unparalleled operational flexibility, it also delivers tremendous cost savings to users, making Kahuna a versatile solution for any business model in the emerging multiformat world.

The first customers for Kahuna are based in Europe, and these include Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and Betanews, the Naples, Italy-based broadcast video services provider.

New Infrastructure Modules Added to IQ Range
Snell & Wilcox IQ Modular infrastructure products are the smart building blocks facilities need today to bridge and interconnect existing islands of analogue, digital SD, digital HD, and file-based equipment. At SATIS 2004 Snell & Wilcox is demonstrating a significant expansion to the IQ Modular range, where new products include HD and SD converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers, routers, and audio modules - all capable of operating in either SD or HD resolutions. The company is also demonstrating new HDTV converters and a significant number of audio processing modules for the SD environment as part of the expanded range.

Enhanced Control & Monitoring, Including SNMP
All the new IQ Modular and conversion products on view at SATIS 2004 - and virtually all Snell & Wilcox products - can be networked using the company's RollCall software, the broadcast industry's most comprehensive and scalable infrastructure control and monitoring system.

RollCall streamlines the management of infrastructure components and allows every new device that a facility buys to be integrated instantly into its network. Snell & Wilcox has committed to enhancing RollCall to support IT infrastructures, and the new RollCall products have the built-in capability to recognize metadata and to identify file movement throughout an existing SDI television plant. In this way, Snell & Wilcox is making today's infrastructure products future-proofed for tomorrow's IT-based facilities.

At SATIS 2004, the company is adding a new layer of control to RollCall and its sister application, RollMap, with RollSNMP, the ability to monitor SNMP status information from the products of other vendors. RollSNMP has already been integrated with products from Pinnacle, Cisco, Pro-Bel, Barco, and Omneon as well as Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP workstations and servers. Other devices are easily integrated using XML, the industry standard for metadata exchange.

New Alchemist Ph.C Smashes Price/Performance Barrier
Smashing the price/performance barrier for motion-compensated phase correlation conversion, the new Alchemist Ph.C, the latest in the Ph.C family of Snell & Wilcox converters using the company's Emmy-award-winning motion measurement technology, gives broadcasters no-compromise performance at a substantially lower price than has ever been achievable. Occupying just three RU of space, Alchemist Ph.C produces clear and crisp outputs from the widest range of input materials. Offering both analogue composite and digital video I/Os, Alchemist Ph.C accepts and outputs SDI with embedded audio and composite analogue in all major television formats and integrates on-board aspect ratio conversion, an intuitive touch screen user-interface, CleanCuts, and a number of other advanced features.

HDTV Up and Down Conversion
To complement the launch of its new HDTV modular products, Snell & Wilcox is introducing a line of cost-effective, broadcaster-friendly conversion tools for the DTV transition. The HD5400 Upconverter will upconvert 525/625 SD video to HD 1080i, 720p, or 480p output formats and provide the standards, aspect ratio, and colour space conversions required by broadcasters. The new HD6300 Downconverter can convert SMPTE 292M and ITU 709 HD standards to SD serial digital video.

HDTV Compression Preprocessing
Building on an installed based of more than 1,000 standard definition compression preprocessors, Snell & Wilcox is showing the new CPP1000 Prefix-HD, a next-generation multistandard HD compression preprocessor that provides the dual benefits of improved picture quality for viewers and lower bandwidth usage for cable, satellite, and terrestrial TV broadcasters.

Prefix-HD reduces noise-related artifacts in HDTV video in the precompression stage so broadcasters can avoid encoding artifacts such as excessive film grain and video noise. The resulting pictures are clean and stable, resulting in better bandwidth efficiency and increased picture quality. The bandwidth savings that Prefix-HD delivers provides genuine benefits to users in the form of increased revenues and short payback time.

Grain Management for Virtual Telecine Environments
On show for the first time in France is NIAGRA, a grain management and artifact suppression system designed for virtual telecine environments. Priced at half the cost of the nearest competing solution, NIAGRA provides users with powerful real-time tools for improving the quality of film-originated material and delivering superior picture fidelity during electronic assembly.

Designed for operation in the virtual telecine environment via integration with the da Vinci Systems 2K control surface, NIAGRA works with all HD and SD video standards and supports AES, AC3, and Dolby E audio. It provides automatic gamut legalization as well as a primary colour corrector.

About Snell & Wilcox
Snell & Wilcox, the leader in its field, delivers technologies and products that give television and satellite broadcasters, post production facilities, film makers, and communications professionals the freedom 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 without sacrificing picture quality. 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, United Kingdom. Additional offices are located in New York, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia.

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Related Keywords:Snell & Wilcox, SATIS, Kahuna, switcher, Patrice Affret, production switcher, IQ Modular, converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers, routers, RollCall, RollMap, RollSNMP, Pinnacle, Cisco, Pro-Bel, Barco, Omneon, Alchemist Ph.C, HD5400 Upconverter, HD6300 Downconverter, CPP1000 Prefix-HD, NIAGRA, telecine, da Vinci Systems 2K, Dolby E,


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