April 18, 2005


LAS VEGAS - Production of seamlessly interwoven SD and HD content for television is taking a step toward ease-of-use via a new line of switchers from Snell & Wilcox called Kahuna. Snell & Wilcox VP Joe Zaller today demonstrated a mix of widescreen and 4x3 pictures in a multiformat switcher environment that recognizes both formats simultaneously - all within the same mainframe and with the same control panel. Kahuna also enables the integration of SD sources into HD production without the need for outboard upconversion, a quality which Zaller admits puts Snell, a longtime developer of conversion units, into competition with itself.

Kahuna users may work initially in HD-only or SD-only mode, and then upgrade to the multiformat SD/HD operation. In its multiformat mode, Kahuna can mix SD camera feeds, graphics, handheld shots and archival footage directly into an HD production without purchasing costly HD upgrades or HD upconversion equipment. Kahuna comes in fours sizes, at four price points. The high-end version offers up to four two-channel DVEs that can apply effects to the keyers and background transitions, including warps, tiling, rippples, roll and peels and lighting effects. A comprehensive support program may also be purchased with the switcher. For more, visit www.snellwilcox.com.