Snell Readies Lineup Of Production Gear

Converter upgrades, HD switcher set for NAB debut

Converters and switchers will be on the list of production and post-production equipment that Snell & Wilcox will be introducing at the NAB show in Las Vegas next month.

In the category of standards converters, the company will offer DEFTplus, an upgrade to the Alchemist Ph.C and Alchemist Platinum converters. It allows standard-definition material to be converted to 24p and standard- and high-definition material to be integrated in the same program.

DEFT stands for Digital Electronic Film Transfer; the original DEFT system was introduced in 1989. The biggest improvement in the system, says Vice President of Marketing John Shike, is its ability to differentiate true fields from duplicate fields that are a result of the 3:2 pulldown process. "By finding the original film frames and re-creating them, you can transfer NSTC to PAL as if you had the original film material."

Snell & Wilcox is also introducing the HD3060 production switcher, which features three mix-effects and 64 inputs (expandable to 128). It has 12 keyers and up to four two-channel digital-video-effect units that apply warps, tiling, ripples and other effects to the keyers and background transitions.

An optional FlexiCache, which is a fully integrated RAM recorder, enables bumps to be added to live HD production. Up to four FlexiCache outputs can be fed directly into the switcher. "It can store up to two minutes of uncompressed HD full-frame material," says Shike. "Also, on the switcher, everything is under one timeline, including the HD ram recorder."

Joining the Snell & Wilcox line of upconverters this year is the UpCaster. "It's a compact, economical upconverter that uses technology from our more expensive HD5200," says Shike. "It's a single rack-unit and is expected to cost less than $15,000 with standard SDI input and HDSI output."

Optional features include composite input, two-channel discrete AES audio I/O with delay and embedded audio input to two-channel discrete AES output with delay.

Snell & Wilcox is also introducing Ukon, a universal converter for all HDTV/SDTV formats. "It's two rack-units high and is designed to be ubiquitous and handle all the formats," says Shike. "It handles upconversion, downconversion and even crossconversion for things like 720p to 1080i."

It also can handle aspect ratio conversion with tilt, pan and zoom, plus time-code conversion with precise frame mapping and 3:2 cadence detection and repair.