Get out your red and blue 3-D glasses

My good, long-time friend Joe Zaller, VP corporate development for Snell & Wilcox (exhibiting at NAB booths SU1917 and SU1717), joined me for an NYC breakfast last week and used the opportunity to highlight some the company’s new products for NAB 2009. Prior to the meeting, he forwarded a PowerPoint presentation and asked that I bring it with me.

Alas, I tried. Unfortunately, the Hilton Garden Inn had only one business center printer — and it was busted. I asked the front desk how the hotel only had one printer and was told, “We’ll fix it. Just come back later.” I thought, "OK, but my meeting is now ..."

Despite not having a copy of the requisite PowerPoint presentation, Zaller was kind enough to walk me through his copy of the document. He highlighted some of the new IQ Modular intelligent infrastructure range, which offers more than 400 intelligent component building blocks. This includes 26 new 3Gb/s-capable modules.

The new 3Gb/s-capable IQ Modular products come in both SD and HD versions and may be upgraded later for full 3Gb/s operation, as needed. This means you can buy now for a lower cost and upgrade later.

The format conversion modules are built on Snell & Wilcox motion-adaptive technology, which has been optimized for maximum performance. Other IQ Modular products provide frame synchronization, audio embedding and de-embedding with advanced Dolby E/D processing, metadata handling and SMPTE 2016 AFD ARC support.

Enhancements to existing IQ series of modules include the addition of a powerful detail enhancer to both the IQUDC00 up/down/crossconverter with synchronizer and to the IQARC00 aspect ratio converter. The IQUDC00 is now equipped with an RGB gamut legalizer and revised conversion apertures for improved cut performance. The converter's support for VITC, CC608-708 and Teletext subtitle metadata support and conversion help to streamline processing of digital signals. The IQSYN21 frame synchronizer also has been enhanced with an RGB gamut legalizer, as well as SMPTE 2016 AFD support and a user-programmable caption generator. Can you say, “Thank you. No more postage stamp-sized images?”


I believe the company’s MachHD motion-compensated standards converter was introduced at last year’s IBC convention. The converter is ideal for broadcast applications such as live news and events, ingest and playout. The compact standards converter offers multirate HD/SD inputs and outputs with up/down/crossconversion — both within and between frame rates — along with aspect ratio conversion and color space conversion, complemented by AFD support. The MachHD, which is part of the Kudos Plus product family, supports embedded AES and analog audio and is housed in a 1RU package.

A new feature for Kudos Plus HD standards converters and synchronizers is 3Gb/s capability. The HD CVR700 SD/HD linear frame-rate converter and the HD TBS700 SD/HD synchronizer/stabilizer give users the flexibility to transition to HD 3Gb/s infrastructures through a simple software upgrade, and each system supports Web updates. Compatibility with Snell & Wilcox's RollCall remote monitoring system enables easy maintenance of Kudos Plus devices along with other infrastructure gear.


The company's Kahuna multiformat SD/HD production switcher continues to be a killer solution for those looking for an all-in-one “vision mixer,” as my European friends would say. New features include K-Watch, a software application that extends the power of networked Kahuna SD/HD production switchers by allowing file content and graphics to be converted and uploaded to one or multiple networked Kahuna systems.

This IT-based production workflow enables creation of files in the IT domain and transparent placement of those files onto the switcher without disrupting its operation. With this capability, broadcasters can easily publish name plates and lower-thirds to a Kahuna system, or share other files among multiple networked switchers. By eliminating the need to upload files manually, K-Watch increases control over files, reduces the time required to deliver media to the switcher and lowers the risk of error.

Another new software application for the Kahuna SD/HD production switcher is K-Mirror. This allows facilities to gain significant workflow efficiencies by providing a backup feature. Whether working with a single Kahuna or in a networked multiple-system environment, K-Mirror facilitates the rapid backup and the sharing of Kahuna Projects, each of which is a complete show, series, event, or production consisting of elements including graphics files, animations, effects memories, DVE memories and engineering configurations.

These project files, representing all the preproduction work, and related settings and elements, now can be copied onto the facility's IT backbone and shared across Kahuna systems. As a result, the entire Kahuna Project for a particular show can be loaded remotely from a completely separate studio, without disrupting production personnel. Much faster than conventional backup via USB or media drive, K-Mirror brings a cost-savings combination of speed and security to video production.

3-D stereoscopic

There has been plenty of talk about 3-D movies, and Snell & Wilcox will introduce newly-developed 3-D stereoscopic functionality for the Kahuna switcher. The Kahuna's stereoscopic enhancement makes it easier for operators to fine-tune the alignment of cameras. These added capabilities provide Kahuna operators with advanced processing and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. 3-D shooting just got easier.

Do you think we should all get out the red and blue cardboard glasses? Leave me your comments.