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Snell to Offer 1080p Functionality at No Additional Charge

READING, ENGLAND —Snell announced that it will now offer 1080p functionality at no additional charge for all 1080p-capable products, eliminating one of the most significant barriers to the adoption of 3Gbps equipment, according to the company.

“We’re ‘putting our money where our mouth is’ once again by facilitating the transition to 1080p production and distribution because we believe that now is the right time — from a technology and cost perspective — for the broadcast industry to move away from interlaced formats,” said Snell chief technology officer, Robert Rowe. “Despite the clear benefits of a full 1080p production environment, the perception remains that such a move is cost-prohibitive — that 1080p files will double the cost of storage and that vendors will maintain a high premium for the 3Gbps processing required for 1080p.

“Our research, and that of authoritative bodies such as the European Broadcasting Union, clearly demonstrates that compressed progressive signals offer higher quality for the same file size as their interlaced equivalent, thereby refuting the notion that 1080p content requires a doubling of storage capacity. Furthermore, our decision to eliminate any additional charge for 1080p processing in Snell products answers concerns over any premium for 3Gbps processing capability.”

A fully progressive production environment eliminates a common practice of repeatedly converting between interlace and progressive formats as images are processed on different types of equipment in the content-creation process. Repeated deinterlacing and reinterlacing of content not only causes image degradation, but also introduces additional workflow complexity, timing problems, and interoperability issues. Snell said the 1080p format offers the best of current HD formats by providing both the spatial resolution of 1080i formats and the temporal resolution of 720p formats. When used as a capture and production format, 1080p makes it easy to extract 1080i and 720p versions of programming content from a common master with higher quality and fewer artifacts.

Many Snell products currently operate internally at the 3Gbps bandwidth required for 1080p formats, including the company’s Kahuna production switchers, Sirius routing switchers, Alchemist Ph.C-HD frame-rate converters, KudosPro signal-processing products, and the industry-leading IQ Modular range.

Starting this year, Snell will offer 1080p processing in these products, as well as their future variants, for no additional cost.