Snell & Wilcox Converts Ascent Media

Ascent Media recently bought 13 Snell & Wilcox Ukon universal conversion platforms to reduce the time it takes for DVD aspect ratio versioning and to maintain version control.

The Ukon is being used to create a "virtual telecine" environment designed to eliminate the need for separate transfers when creating various widescreen and full-screen DVD versions of feature films. Ascent puts the image of each film frame into the HD video space with a single pass through a conventional telecine, then writes the HD data in real time to a SAN disk array. Digital restoration and color correction are performed using the da Vinci 2K.

"We can see no discernable difference between the transform engine used in the conventional telecine and the transform engine in the Ukon," said Kevin Sanders, Ascent Media's vice president of engineering.

The Ukon provides up-conversion, down-conversion and cross-conversion and is designed to handle different frame rates, image sizes and aspect ratios.