SAM Focuses on HD, 4K and IP

LAS VEGAS—With an eye on those acronyms that are defining today’s broadcast industry—namely 4K, HD and IP—Snell Advanced Media (SAM) will debut new production switchers, finishing tools and standards conversion gear, among other solutions at its NAB Show booth this year.

This is the first NAB Show in which the newly named company—formerly known separately as industry stalwarts Quantel and Snell—will exhibit under the SAM banner.

“We want it to be understood that by bringing together Quantel and Snell, we now have a truly unified technology strategy that allows us to push forward into new worlds like 4K and IP and serve our customers in an intuitive and different way,” said Tim Felstead, head of product marketing at SAM. The newly branded SAM first debuted at the 2015 IBC Show.

SAM will debut Kula, a 1080p/4K-capable production switcher available in 1- and 2M/E versions.KULA FOR 4K
At this year’s NAB, SAM is principally focused on 4K and IP solutions that give broadcasters a clear migration path to both of these important technologies, Felstead said. Leading off its announcements is the new Kula, a 1080p/4K-capable production switcher available in 1- and 2M/E versions.

“Today’s broadcasters face a situation that can only be described as ‘challenging,’” Felstead said, as content is being captured and delivered in a wider range of formats than ever before, but still must be managed within the same production workflow. According to Felstead, Kula addresses this need by drawing on the heritage of Kahuna and that switcher’s ability to handle multiple formats.

Kula illustrates the “type of versatility that SAM is known for which gives broadcasters the production tools they need today and a risk-less path to upgrade their architecture down the line,” Felstead said.

“Added to this,” he said, “we’re seeing content creation explode beyond the traditional broadcast sphere, so there are a growing number of organizations that want to benefit from high-production values in order to achieve the flexibility and onscreen result they desire.”

To handle different format requirements, Kula uses the company’s FormatFusion3 signal-processing technology to mix any format, up to and including 4K, thereby eliminating the need for external conversion equipment. The switcher is targeted for broadcast production, sports, and house of worship environments as well as to entertainment and conference events.

SAM will also show off its Kahuna production switchers, which are also suited to 4K, HD and IP environments, as well as its LiveTouch sports highlights system, built around the company’s latest 4K production servers that can be used for replay, slowmotion and editing.

The company will also show the newest version of its Sirius 800 integrated multiviewer, now shipping with Media Biometrics, a proprietary technology that generates signatures from video, audio and metadata and can be used for monitoring.

Software-driven platforms are a key priority for the company, and as such, SAM plans to transition many of its products to a data center model, including the ICE, ICE IP, and ICE SDC channel-in-a-box platforms. For those legacy solutions that are not currently IP-ready, SAM will show its IQ Edge processing solution, designed to bridge the gap to IP environments by offering many image and audio processing capabilities in an integrated package.

“Fundamentally, IP-Edge influences the way that SAM products work together within an IP environment,” he said. “It is open standards-based and enables combined IP and SDI routing control.” The goal with IP-Edge is to give customers a bridge to IP environments with the least amount of technical and business risk possible.

Getting deep inside the broadcast plant, SAM plans to show its Alchemist XF standards converter, which now supports 4K and HDR; as well as introduce Alchemist Kronos for content duration adjustment. The company will also show the UHD1000 for real-time 4K conversion, the newest member of the company’s KudosPro signal processing product line.

Coloring will also be a highlight for SAM this year in the form of the Quantel Rio 8K, a color, editing and finishing tool that can be used for long-form grading for TV finishing and for post. New features include HDR and wide color gamut capabilities, a new interface, cloud tracking, and enhanced integration with Avid systems.

SAM will also debut an edit timeline to its Go! remote production suite that will give mobile device editors access to live and recorded content to build stories, with timline editing and voiceover. Finished sequences will be ready for immediate publishing to social media, web and TV.

SAM is in Booth SL1805.

Susan Ashworth

Susan Ashworth is the former editor of TV Technology. In addition to her work covering the broadcast television industry, she has served as editor of two housing finance magazines and written about topics as varied as education, radio, chess, music and sports. Outside of her life as a writer, she recently served as president of a local nonprofit organization supporting girls in baseball.