Italian OB van believes in Kahuna

Italy s SBP, a leading European broadcast services company with offices in Rome, Milan, and Turin, selected the Snell & Wilcox SD/HD Kahuna multiformat production switcher for a new broadcast van designed to accommodate coverage of Europe s most demanding events.

The fully loaded production switcher installed in SBP s newest and largest OB van is configured with two control surfaces, one 4-M/E (mix/effects banks) panel and one 1-M/E panel. M/Es can be allocated either to SD or HD sources, or mixed together on a single M/E.
First-rate coverage of live concerts and other high-profile productions demands exceptional performance from the production switcher, and we feel the Kahuna gives our operators as much control over switching and conversion as is possible, said Antonio Balsamo, SBP president and CEO. Its ability to handle both SD and HD formats simultaneously, without the need for any external conversion gear that might introduce delay or otherwise affect image quality, was a major contributory factor in our decision.

The 27-camera HD truck is expandable on every side and relies on the Kahuna to output programs seamlessly in SD, HD, and in any broadcast standard, thereby giving clients the ability to handle multiple video formats and standards with maximum flexibility and efficiency during live productions.

Provided to SBP by Italian systems integrator Video Progetti, the Kahuna multiformat production switcher features simultaneous HD and SD output capability from the same mainframe and control panel. Advanced FormatFusion technology from Snell & Wilcox enables operators to combine SD and HD camera feeds, graphics, handheld shots, and archive footage directly into their HD productions.

Snell & Wilcox says the internal conversion capability makes Kahuna the industry s most versatile production switcher while also reducing the external conversion gear that SBP requires to achieve top-quality multiformat production. It also features a low delay of the Kahuna s internal conversion processing ensures the quality and continuity of audio and video in HD or mixed-format production of musical productions, sports, and other popular live events.

The switcher s operational flexibility makes maximum use of all available M/Es by networking multiple control surfaces to different mainframes, allocating one mainframe to separate control panels, or operating in SD or HD as required. While most of the production truck s outputs are HD feeds, the Kahuna enables operators to provide programming simultaneously in both HD and SD or even different feeds customized for multiple clients.

The Kahuna system in SBP s state-of-the-art truck is fully loaded with DVE options and eight channels of 3D DVE effects, providing up to 24 separate SD or HD images that can be manipulated independently. In addition to having a dedicated FormatFusion engine, each M/E bank features four keyers able to perform luma, linear, and chroma keying; five transition wipe generators; a still store and RAM recorder; RGB color correction; two utility buses; and DMEM capability.

The Kahuna s compact 11-RU mainframe is the smallest ever for a switcher with its capabilities, which combine with low weight, power consumption, and heat generation to make an ideal solution for space- and weight-sensitive OB vehicles. The Snell & Wilcox production switcher has been integrated into the SBP OB van along with HD cameras from Sony and a variety of routing and control solutions from Pro-Bel. Snell & Wilcox also supplied IQ Modular infrastructure, which provides more than 300 intelligent component building blocks with which to construct any kind of broadcast facility.