Snell & Wilcox to Launch Kahuna, Industry's First True SD/HD Production Switcher

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UK, 26 July, 2004 - IBC2004 will be the scene for the first public unveiling of Kahuna, Snell & Wilcox's new SD/HD production switcher. Bridging the gap between standard definition and high definition formats, Kahuna is the first production switcher on the market to allow users simultaneously to process selected mix effects on both SD and HD outputs and to simultaneously mix together SD and HD sources in one mix effect. Eliminating the necessity for separate mainframes to handle SD and HD sources, or for a reboot on the mainframe when switching from one standard to another, Kahuna provides broadcasters with a transparent HD upgrade path, delivering a solution that fits with a facility's needs wherever it may be in process of migrating from SD to HD technology.

Ideal for sports, news, and live-to-tape programming environments, Kahuna's compact mainframe design makes it equally at home in mobile trucks. For heavily graphic-intensive production requirements, Kahuna provides powerful macro and timeline features, 80 inputs, 2D DVE effects per keyer plus an additional 8 channels of 3D DVE effects. With its real-time ability to work with both HD and SD sources and effects, Kahuna is the industry's first switcher allowing users to mix SD and HD material in the same screen without an intermediate conversion step, providing unprecedented flexibility for sports and other events mixing feeds from SD and HD cameras and archival footage. Design for tight integration into the production environment, Kahuna features the generic panel layout familiar to control room professionals and is offered in 2 ME, 3 ME, and 4 ME versions.

Free MXF Development Tools and MXF Player/Wrapper to Accelerate Multi-Vendor Interoperability of New Open Source Broadcast Products

Snell & Wilcox is taking a leadership role in the movement toward the proliferation of open-standards, IT-based broadcast facilities with the free release of a comprehensive set of developer tools, called MXF Express, that will help broadcasters and equipment vendors ensure interoperability among file-sharing products and systems through the MXF file format. Also being released at no cost is MXF Desktop, a software-based MXF file player that will bring MXF compatibility to any Windows PC desktop.

Comet Open Standards Ingest and MediaX PCI-Based Development Platform to Facilitate Open Standards Broadcasting

At IBC2004 Snell & Wilcox will demonstrate the benefits of the file-based future with the launch of two breakthrough products based on the open standards concept. For end users, the company will announce its production version of Comet, a software-based ingest system for servers and asset management systems, which sets a new benchmark for cost-effectiveness and interoperability. For OEMs, Snell & Wilcox will demonstrate the "engine" behind Comet, its new MediaX high-performance PCI card that can run on an off-the-shelf Windows PC.

Comet and MediaX are examples of the Snell & Wilcox commitment to providing flexible, networked, forward-looking infrastructure solutions that serve facilities as they transition to an open-standards, IT-based future. Snell & Wilcox products and technologies are accelerating this transition, bringing users in the broadcast, satellite, cable, and post production industries all the benefits of freedom from proprietary PC hardware, more efficient workflows, better asset management, lower operating costs, and speedier time to air.

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 analog, digital standard definition, digital high-definition, and file-based equipment. At IBC2004, the IQ Modular range will see significant expansion with the introduction of new products including HD and SD converters, synchronizers, distribution amplifiers, routers and audio modules all capable of operating in either standard definition or high definition resolutions. The company will also introduce HDTV converters and a significant number of audio processing modules for the standard definition environment as part of the expanded range.

Enhanced Control & Monitoring, Including SNMP

All the new IQ Modular and conversion products on view at IBC2004 - 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 being introduced at IBC 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 IBC, 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

IBC2004 attendees will see the first public demonstration in Europe of a new broadcast-centric Snell & Wilcox motion-compensated standards converter. Smashing the price/performance barrier for motion-compensated phase correlation conversion, the new Alchemist Ph.C, 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 3 RU of space, Alchemist Ph.C produces clear and crisp outputs from the widest range of input materials. Offering both analog composite and digital video I/Os, Alchemist Ph.C accepts and outputs SDI with embedded audio and composite analog 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. At IBC2004, Snell & Wilcox will announce production shipment of this sixth-generation system.

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 standard definition video to HD 1080i, 720p or 480p output formats and provide the standards, aspect ratio and color space conversions required by broadcasters. The new HD6300 Downconverter, can convert SMPTE 292M and ITU 709 HD standards to standard definition serial digital video.

HDTV Compression Pre-Processing

Building on an installed based of more than 1,000 standard definition compression pre-processors, Snell & Wilcox will introduce at IBC the CPP1000 Prefix-HD, a next-generation multi-standard high-definition compression pre-processor 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 pre-compression stage so broadcasters can avoid encoding artifacts such as excessive film grain and video noise. The resulting pictures are clean and stable, result is 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 pay-back time.

Grain Management for Virtual Telecine Environments

Also being introduced at IBC2004 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 high-definition and standard definition video standards and supports AES, AC3, and Dolby E audio. It provides automatic gamut legalization as well as a primary color corrector.

Press Release  |  26.07.2004

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