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TV 2 HD Relies on Snell Newsroom Automation Solution, Based on Kahuna, for Exclusive Tour de France Coverage
Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Multiformat SD/HD Switcher Enables Norwegian Broadcaster to Utilize SD Content From Multiple Sources Into High-Quality HD Broadcast


READING, U.K. — Oct. 13, 2009 — To facilitate its exclusive HD coverage of the recent Tour de France cycling event, Norway broadcaster TV 2 chose a new newsroom automation solution from Snell that integrates the Kahuna SD/HD multiformat switcher with technology from Mosart Medialab. The Snell newsroom automation solution enabled TV 2, Norway's largest commercial TV station, to combine content from two different SD sources with the principal live HD feed from France for a smooth, seamless, and high-quality HD broadcast. 


TV 2 had been broadcasting in HD for two weeks when the Tour de France began this year on July 4. But while the network was able to play out external live events and purchased programs in HD, it was still working on upgrading its internal production facilities and satellite news gathering (SNG) capabilities. This meant that its Tour de France coverage would require the ability to seamlessly combine into a single production the international live HD feed of the cycling event, the TV 2 SD SNG following the race, and SD content from TV 2's studio in Bergen. 


To solve this problem, TV 2 turned to Snell and its Kahuna production switcher. Through the integration with Mosart Medialab, the Kahuna provided TV 2 with the flexibility to mix the HD feed, HD gfx sources, SD server playback, and other SD sources within the same switcher.


The Snell newsroom automation solution takes full advantage of the Kahuna's industry-leading multiformat capabilities to bring heightened efficiencies, consistencies, and cost savings to production news and sports operations. The Mosart Medialab technology tightly integrates with newsroom computer systems via a MOS gateway and controls an array of production gear, including the Kahuna, robotic cameras, audio mixers, video servers, graphics, routers, lights, multiviewer displays, and more. The fully integrated system gives producers complete control over the newscast and enables them to drive various devices with the press of a button. The system's easy-to-use graphical interface offers clear and intuitive news rundowns, views of all story elements, and countdowns to the next story. 


"In the past we had great success with our coverage of the Tour de France, and we saw the race as a perfect sales opportunity for the distributors of our new HD channel. However, to cover the race in HD, we needed a multiformat solution that would allow us to continue to use our SD sources," said Ole Johan Skogheim, systems manager at TV 2. "In a situation like ours, where we have an SD studio where we wrap external live HD events, the Kahuna has proven to be a reliable and efficient way to move gradually to HD, and provided us with a high-quality production of the race."


"The migration to HD is still a daunting challenge for broadcasters, and TV 2's coverage of the Tour de France is an excellent example of taking advantage of less expensive solutions to ease the transition," said Neil Maycock, chief marketing officer at Snell. "With Kahuna, TV 2 was able to utilize the switcher's multiformat capabilities to achieve a top-notch production without the expense of purchasing live production equipment. We look forward to working further with TV 2 as it moves toward the next stage of its in-house HD productions" 


About Kahuna:
Kahuna from Snell is the world's first and only true multiformat SD/HD production switcher. Thanks to a Snell technology called FormatFusion, Kahuna enables simultaneous SD and HD operations in the same mainframe and on the same control panel. This vastly simplifies the HDTV transition for broadcasters by eliminating the need for external HDTV up/down/crossconverters in the live production environment, as well as the cost and the signal path delay associated with these products. Kahuna has the smallest size mainframe, lowest weight, and lowest power consumption when compared with other large switchers, and it has been integrated with dozens of third-party products including routers, servers, automation systems, and controllers.