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Snell & Wilcox Wins Award for Technology Leadership

Frost & Sullivan honors innovative technology, refinement, performance of Kahuna system (October 26, 2005)

Lauding a track record of innovation and excellence that includes the new multiformat SD/HD Kahuna production switcher, Frost & Sullivan has honored Snell & Wilcox with the 2005 Award for Technology Leadership Award for the World Broadcast Production Switcher Market.

"Snell & Wilcox has been a prominent player in the production switcher space for more than a decade," noted Frost & Sullivan analysts in the award document. "During this time, the company has been at the forefront of technology innovation in this space and has a strong track record of technical firsts. With a history of providing cutting-edge technology to the market, Snell & Wilcox has recently introduced its next-generation production switcher -- Kahuna. The Kahuna production switcher is at the cutting edge of switcher design and performance, and redefines what is possible in the live production workflow."

The 2005 Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership identifies companies that have demonstrated leadership by excelling in all stages of the technology life cycle -- incubation, adaptation, take-up, and maturity -- to ensure a continuous flow of improvements. To qualify for the award, the recipient company must have also pioneered client applications.

"We are gratified to receive this recognition from such a respected source of information for our industry," said Joe Zaller, vice president of marketing and product management at Snell & Wilcox "We know that Frost & Sullivan does its homework, and we are pleased that this award is bestowed not only on Kahuna but on our pioneer achievements in HD production switching as a whole, which also include the first switchers with integrated HD DVEs, integral frame stores, Ethernet transfer of files, and many other such industry firsts."

Kahuna is the first production switcher on the market to enable simultaneous SD and HD operations on the same control surface and in the same mainframe. A proprietary Snell & Wilcox technology called FormatFusion allows operators to integrate any SD video into HD productions seamlessly or to output HD material as an SD feed, both without the need for upconversion or downconversion.

"The business and operational benefits of this technological advance are immediately apparent," Frost & Sullivan said. "Not only does Kahuna enable users to transition to HD operation at their own pace and on their own budgetary terms, it also saves the cost, space, weight, and power consumption associated with multiple outboard conversion units. In addition Kahuna also boasts of being one of the industry's smallest size, lowest weight, and lowest power consumption switchers when compared to other products in its class. This helps users realize cost savings in operations, especially on mobile installations. From an operational perspective, Kahuna's ability to integrate SD graphics into HD productions is particularly significant because the capabilities of current HD graphics systems are not as advanced as available systems in the SD domain."

In selecting Snell & Wilcox for this prestigious award, Frost & Sullivan's analyst team tracked all emerging technologies and ongoing research and development projects within the industry. This process included interviews with all the market participants and extensive secondary and technology research. The technologies and research projects were then compared according to customer-base demands, as well as elements such as feasibility of product launch, likelihood of customer acceptance and acceptance rates, and estimated time to market. Competitors were then compared and ranked for relative position, and -- as the company that achieved the No. 1 industry ranking -- Snell & Wilcox was chosen to receive the award.

The specific criteria used to determine the final ranking of competitors in this industry also included significance of the technology in the industry, number of competitors having similar industry technology, the refinement of technology to meet changing end-user needs, value-added technology and services to the customers, adoption rate by each of the industry participants, new product innovation, and time to market.

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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