Germany’s ZDF switches to Snell & Wilcox’s Kahuna

December 22, 2008

The German national public television broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) has signed a contract to purchase a minimum of 12 Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD production switchers.

ZDF plans to deploy the Kahuna systems across the company’s studio and production facilities in Mainz, Berlin, and Hamburg, as well as in its OB department. The first three Kahuna switchers being installed will be responsible for a significant share of ZDF’s premium-format, HD programming.

After side-by-side testing and extensive technical and commercial evaluation of systems from all major vendors, ZDF committed to the Kahuna production switcher in a four-year agreement that sees the first units installed by fall 2008. The switchers will be employed in a variety of applications at ZDF, with initial installations providing switching for the broadcaster’s capital studio in Berlin, a new virtual HD news studio in Mainz, and in ZDF’s Hamburg production facility.

With Snell & Wilcox’s proprietary FormatFusion technology, the Kahuna systems will allow ZDF facilities to incorporate SD content — whether from broadcast archives, legacy sources, or external feeds — seamlessly into HD productions.

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