Single-step upconversion spares resolution for TNT HD coverage of British Open

When TNT decided to cover the 2004 British Open in HD, it needed a way to minimize image degradation of a video signal that apparently required two conversions: one from PAL to NTSC, the other from NTSC to HD.

TNT found its solution in the Snell & Wilcox Alchemist Platinum Ph.C motion-compensated standards converter.

TNT had several options for upconverting the video feed, which was produced by the BBC in PAL 16:9 widescreen. The first relied on a two-stage process in which the programming first would be converted from PAL to NTSC and then upconverted from SD to HD. Because the NTSC standard supports only 525 lines, 100 lines of resolution would have been discarded in the first phase of conversion, reducing the amount of detail available during the upconversion to the 1080-line HD format.

For the British Open Championship, TNT ran the 625-line, 50Hz European feed into a Alchemist Platinum Ph.C, which upconverted the images in a single step to 1080i at 60Hz for HD broadcast in the United States.

The British Open was the second major sporting event broadcast by TNT in HD, after the NBA's Western Conference Finals in late May.

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