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Snell & Wilcox – Joe Zaller

Q. What kind of products or services does your company offer for broadcasters?

A. Snell & Wilcox designs and manufactures high-quality image processing, conversion, switching, and compression products for the professional film and television markets. It provides broadcasters with the tools to display the highest possible picture quality on all display devices from a large HDTV screen to a small mobile phone. New product releases include advanced solutions for broadcast playout, live production, and mastering and repurposing applications. The company’s customer base includes most of the world’s major broadcasters, content owners, and film studios. More information is available online at

Q. What’s new that you will you show at NAB2007 and that broadcasters should look for there?

A. New Snell & Wilcox products empower broadcasters in launching HD services and leveraging media across new distribution platforms at the highest-possible quality.

At NAB2007 the company will showcase its Protus Ph.C video image conditioning system. Protus Ph.C lets mobile-TV service providers increase picture quality and/or reduce bandwidth requirements for delivering content to wireless, IPTV, and Internet platforms. Snell & Wilcox will demonstrate how the system’s Emmy Award-winning compression and image conditioning technologies deliver optimal viewing quality on the small screen.

Snell & Wilcox will also show the iCR automated content-repurposing workstation. With iCR content owners can master content once and concurrently repurpose material for multiple distribution platforms including broadcast, VOD, mobile TV, portable media players or Internet/Web publishing.

Also on display will be the new Alchemist Ph.C – HD motion compensated HD standards converter. Intended to simplify workflows for international program exchange, the system yields images of unparalleled quality and clarity for the most dynamic HD inputs. NAB2007 represents the official launch of this system.

NAB2007 attendees will have the opportunity to see the new Alchemist Ph.C – IP software-based standards converter at work. Operating on the Snell & Wilcox Helios platform, it delivers transparent conversion of video, audio, and metadata between NTSC and PAL standards and, with an entirely file-based workflow, offers a low cost of entry into high-end standards conversion and IT-based operations.

Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?

A. A number of new Snell & Wilcox products bring industry-leading technologies into first-of-a-kind applications and workflows. The Protus Ph.C brings advanced image conditioning capability to the mobile TV market, providing compression levels that deliver double-digit percentage bandwidth savings for the operator and result in higher-quality images (and fewer dropped and repeated frames) for the consumer.

The Alchemist Ph.C – HD likewise brings Snell & Wilcox’s world-class processing technology to a new domain, offering users in the HD market unparalleled standard and format conversion quality.

Many broadcasters will be familiar already with the unique Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher, the first production switcher to handle both SD and HD sources within a single mainframe and control panel. At NAB2007 the company will display a new version of the Kahuna, available in a smaller form factor and adding new 3-D DVE capabilities through the IMPAKT option.

Workflow efficiency is among the primary benefits of the iCR automated content repurposing workstation. The iCR system combines best-in-class image conditioning tools, content mastering, quality control (QC), and content repurposing functionality to deliver superior image quality while drastically reducing the time required for repurposing.

Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?

A. In business since 1973, Snell & Wilcox maintains its U.S. headquarters in Burbank, Calif., and European headquarters in Hampshire, U.K. Additional offices are located in New York, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia.

Continued investment in R&D has enabled Snell & Wilcox to build a world-class technology portfolio and significant intellectual property in image processing. The company’s technology has been recognized with four Emmy awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the United States and more than 100 other awards and honors.