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Top European Broadcasting Research Facility Builds Video Testing Environment Around Snell & Wilcox Conversion Products
Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Top European Broadcasting Research Facility Builds Video Testing Environment Around Snell & Wilcox Conversion Products

Institut für Rundfunktechnik Chooses Snell & Wilcox's State-of-the-Art Motion-Compensated Conversion Systems for Advanced Video Conversion Testing


HAMPSHIRE, U.K. — Oct. 28, 2008 — At the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT), a research facility dedicated to the advancement of broadcasting technologies based in Munich, the Snell & Wilcox Quasar Ph.C motion-compensated HD upconverter and the Alchemist Ph.C – HD standards converter form the basis for a test environment that enables the IRT to conduct multiple video conversion scenarios on behalf of its clients. 

A non-profit institute for technology research and development in the broadcast industry, the IRT was founded more than 50 years ago by the German, Austrian, and Swiss public broadcasters. With a focus on the usability of a technology in the daily work of a broadcasting facility, IRT performs testing on technologies and equipment in standalone configurations as well as in combination with other processes. 

With the Quasar Ph.C and Alchemist Ph.C – HD systems, the IRT is investigating various aspects of a mixed 1080i/720p HD production environment by running different types of source materials through a system that has been defined as reference in joint co-operation with IRT's clients. Pictures are captured on film as well as various video cameras from different vendors, and include a number of typical clips from IRT's TV archive, including its commercially available HDTV Test Sequences. 

"The cascade of different processing technologies often shows unexpected degradation of signal quality. This has been the case with VTR and NLE compression schemes, so we expect similar things with cascaded crossconversion processes," said Dr. Rainer Schäfer, head of production systems television, at IRT. "The Snell & Wilcox systems provide an ideal testing environment for this type of study, because they are viewed in the industry as the state-of-the-art in conversion technology. Over the years, we have repeatedly tested up- and down-converters from various vendors and have always been impressed with Snell & Wilcox products." 

The Quasar Ph.C motion compensated upconverter combines four Emmy® Award-winning Snell & Wilcox technologies in its single compact 1-RU package to deliver HDTV outputs with twice the resolution of competitive products that use conventional linear adaptive techniques. The Snell & Wilcox Alchemist Ph.C – HD motion compensated frame-rate standards converter is acknowledged worldwide as the "gold standard" in conversion performance, offering simultaneous SD and HD conversion in its compact 3-RU mainframe. This one-box approach delivers HD frame-rate conversion between 50-Hz and 60-Hz HD standards for both 1080i and 720p formats, as well as SD frame-rate conversion between 50-Hz and 60-Hz material. 

"The IRT is well known for its expertise and guidance in the latest broadcasting technology, and the results of its equipment testing and benchmarking often form the basis for significant system purchasing decisions by its clients," said Joe Zaller, vice president, corporate development at Snell & Wilcox. "Since the IRT only purchases the most advanced technologies for its testing scenarios, we are particularly pleased that it has made such a strong commitment to Snell & Wilcox products."