Snell & Wilcox shoots and scores for BBC

The BBC is using the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher to enable standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup from studios and facilities in both Munich and Berlin. Kahuna systems installed at both sites allow production staff to work with both SD and HD sources in the same mainframe, integrate them seamlessly into production, and supply transmission feeds simultaneously in both formats.

“The 2006 FIFA World Cup represents an important milestone for broadcasters such as the BBC, as the tournament promises to be one of the most-watched productions of the year, as well as the first major event to be broadcast in both SD and HD,” said Joe Zaller, vice president of marketing at Snell & Wilcox. “The BBC is originating SD and HD broadcasts from multiple venues across Germany, and our Kahuna production switcher will be key to integrating SD and HD sources into production and creating simultaneous SD and HD transmission feeds.”

A 4-M/E (mix/effects banks) Kahuna system in Berlin and 2-M/E system in Munich, both provided and installed by GearHouse Broadcast, will allow the BBC production team and switcher operators to choose from a wide variety of sources SD and HD cameras, VTRs, graphics systems, etc. regardless of their format. The Kahuna s unique FormatFusion technology enables the seamless integration of SD sources into high-quality HD productions without the need for outboard upconversion. The unique Snell & Wilcox switcher offers simultaneous SD and HD operations in the same mainframe with the same control panel, enabling operators to allocate M/Es to either SD or HD sources, or to mix the two together on a single M/E.

Snell & Wilcox has provided significant support in the design of the system and in the training of freelance operators prior to the opening match. Support will also be available during the tournament, with on-site support at each broadcast venue and from Snell & Wilcox s German offices.