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Snell & Wilcox to Support NAB-HD

Snell & Wilcox announced that over the course of the NAB2006 exhibition, April 24-27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the company’s industry-leading solutions for HD production, broadcasting, and distribution will play a key role in the creation of NAB-HD broadcasts.

A 3-M/E Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher equipped with FormatFusion will enable the NAB-HD production team to blend SD and HD 720p/1080i sources into broadcasts seamlessly. The Kahuna IMPAKT 3D DVE feature will enable split-screen display of live HD feeds from the studio and a helicopter camera. Additional sources for NAB-HD broadcasts will include interviews and live reports from the show floor via a wireless HD system, as well as discussions from the NAB-HD studios, this year located in the LVCC Central Hall, booth C11539.

“Snell & Wilcox has been an incredibly helpful volunteer in supporting NAB-HD this year, providing much of the production equipment and the modular infrastructure that will bind together our HD broadcast systems,” said NAB-HD Project Director Nigel Spratling. “The 2006 show will really show off the flexibility of the systems we’re using and demonstrate?for the first time, in many cases?a complete range of end-to-end delivery options. Within this workflow, the Kahuna switcher will simplify production significantly by allowing us to take in all types of sources without worrying about format conversion.”

HD content will be ingested to an Omneon Spectrum media server system via the Snell & Wilcox MEMPHIS SD and HD MPEG-2 encoder, which accepts both SD and HD 720p/1080i formats, uncompressed PCM, MP1L2, Dolby E, and AC-3 audio and encodes material at any MPEG-2 profile. Based on two Emmy Award-winning technologies from Snell & Wilcox, Ph.C phase correlation motion estimation and Prefix compression preprocessing, MEMPHIS brings compression efficiency to unprecedented levels while providing the dual benefits of improved picture quality for the viewer and lower bandwidth usage for the broadcaster.

Snell & Wilcox’s IQ Modular system components with RollCall control and monitoring will serve as the infrastructure supporting NAB-HD. The IQ Modular infrastructure range, featuring more than 300 intelligent component building blocks with which to construct any kind of broadcast facility, provides a flexible platform for broadcasters that can be easily reconfigured as their needs change. Snell & Wilcox’s IQ Modular infrastructure system also offers the benefit of RollCall, which can instantly identify potential problems in the signal path.

The NAB-HD broadcast exhibition is being designed and built in its entirety by San Jose, Calif.-based systems integrator SignaSys. This year’s exhibit will cover more than 5,000 square feet and include a fully functioning HD facility incorporating an HD studio and production facility, automated multiservice master control environment, HD production and editing area, as well as HD theater. NAB-HD programming will be distributed to displays throughout the LVCC, to more than 75,000 hotel rooms throughout Las Vegas, and to mobile devices via cellular and Internet services.