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Snell & Wilcox Ukon Becomes Industry Standard

Preferred choice of the broadcast and film industries for high-quality format conversion (October 10, 2005)

With Ascent Media, HTV, and Sunset Digital among its worldwide users, the Ukon universal conversion platform from Snell & Wilcox has become the preferred choice of the broadcast and film industries for high-quality format conversion in editing suites, telecine intermediates, and DVD production.

"Snell & Wilcox's Ukon is a remarkable tool in today's technology-driven post-production industry," said Ron Burdett, president and CEO of Sunset Digital. "Ukon is the centerpiece of Sunset's conversion center. It is the workhorse of our Digital Film Mastering Division, and vital to transferring film to digital high definition video. I couldn't do business without it."

Able to handle any kind of HD-to-HD, SD-to-HD, or HD-to-SD conversion, its flexibility and efficiency make Ukon a natural choice as the image processor for virtual telecine applications. Because it performs its functions in real time, the system can be used to convert from telecine or tape or disk in the time it takes for dubbing. The Ukon also features real-time aspect ratio conversion as part of this process so that SD copies created from an HD master telecine can be panned, scanned, zoomed, and tilted to suit.

Said Jim Hardy, CEO of HTV, Inc., "It has been very advantageous for us to integrate the Ukon into our workflow. The great thing about Ukon is that you can work with everything in real time. There is no rendering or low-res proxies, just the material in its native resolution. In the end, our clients just want to know that we can get the job done -- and done right -- by a certain date. Using the Ukon makes a big difference in being able to deliver this certainty to our clients."

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.

"We chose the Ukon because it gave the highest-quality results in all the tests we did with clients," said Kevin Sanders, Ascent Media's vice president of engineering. "We can see no discernable difference between the transform engine used in the conventional telecine and the transform engine in the Ukon. Ukon by itself is a great product, and in virtual telecine, it becomes a key part of an amazing system designed by Ascent Media to reduce time-to-market and ensure uniformity and the highest quality of deliverables worldwide."

The Ukon integrates easily with post-production systems to provide editors, colorists, and other operators with control through familiar interfaces. Learn more about the Ukon 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 Burbank, 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.

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Related Keywords:Snell & Wilcox, Ukon, format conversion, telecine, Film Mastering, upconversion, downconversion, crossconversion, timecode,

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