Snell at IBC 2011 - Sirius Routers and Alchemist Ph.C-HD V.6

Snell is a leading innovator in digital media technology and provides broadcasters and global media companies with a comprehensive range of solutions to create, better manage, and streamline the distribution of content for today's multi-screen world. Snell provides the tools necessary to transition seamlessly and cost-effectively to HDTV, stereoscopic 3D, and 3Gbps operations. Headquartered in the U.K., Snell serves more than 2,000 broadcasters, post facilities, and global media companies in more than 100 countries through its worldwide team of sales and support personnel.

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Snell Introduces Sirius 840 Router and Reveals Extensive New Audio Capabilities in the Sirius 800 Family

Snell announced the release of the Sirius 840, the newest member of the company's Sirius 800 family of multi-format, expandable routers. The Sirius 840 provides 576x576 video in a space-efficient 27RU chassis and, like all Sirius 800 routers, it incorporates groundbreaking new audio processing.

"With the addition of the Sirius 840, we can truly say the Sirius 800 series offers a powerful router choice for operations of any size and complexity. The 840 is ideal for medium-sized customers who require slightly more functionality than our cost-effective Sirius 830 288x288 router, but less than the Sirius 850 576x1152. As with any other Snell router, Sirius 840 customers can count on accessing all router options when they need them, rather than having to compromise on functionality as with other router manufacturers," said Alan Smith, product manager for routing at Snell. "And, just like the other 800 series routers, the Sirius 840 is 3Gbps-ready, with built-in capabilities to support today's formats and signal types as well as those of tomorrow."

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Like the other models in the Sirius 800 router family, the Sirius 840 enables video as well as embedded and discrete audio routing through high-performance crosspoint modules, with multi-format video cards that can handle 3Gbps as well as SD, HD, and ASI over 24 input and output channels. Broadcasters can mix and match different signal formats in the same Sirius 840 frame – such as 3Gbps and 1.5Gbps for HD, SD, and ASI over either coax or fiber, AES and MADI audio signals, and embedded audio routing. Each input and output card is also a powerful processing engine allowing, for example, every input video channel to have all audio channels de-embedded, individual channel gain adjusted, tracks shuffled, and mono or stereo downmixes made. Multiple non-synchronous audio signals can be routed and all outputs either sample rate converted or passed transparently at the original data rate, meaning multiple audio data rates can be accommodated within the frame.

The Sirius 800's unique approach to redundant crosspoint protection allows a single redundant crosspoint card to protect against failures on multiple crosspoints, providing the highest level of resilience. Optional redundant crosspoints use intelligent path monitoring, which in the event of a failure can automatically switch to the redundant path and issue a user alarm through Snell's system-wide Centra control and monitoring application.

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The Sirius 840, like all Sirius 800 routers, features Snell's Catsii™ illuminated connector technology, which allows users to see the status and format of all input and output signals on the rear of the router, and also remotely through close integration with the Centra control and monitoring system. In addition, the Sirius 840 provides up to 140 outputs for additional monitoring systems and dedicated multi-viewers such as Snell's MV Series, without affecting the main router matrix. The Sirius 840 uses industry standard protocols for easy integration with multi-vendor systems as well as compatibility with rest of the Snell product family.

Every Sirius 840 is supplied as standard with Snell's Centra Vite, a new router control and configuration tool that is also debuting at IBC2011. Centra Vite provides a simple and intuitive way to define the basics of the router setup. A selection of default configurations allows operators to begin using their Snell routers immediately upon delivery. Centra Vite allows simple updating of settings such as size and control port protocols. Centra Vite offers a straightforward upgrade path to the Centra control and monitoring system without compromising existing user interfaces and fundamental operation.

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Snell Launches Alchemist Ph.C-HD Version 6, Bringing Exceptional Image Quality to Tapeless Workflows and Film-Rate Conversions

Snell announced the release of its industry-leading Alchemist Ph.C-HD motion compensated standards converter with a new file I/O option that simplifies integration of the HD standards converter into file-based workflows, as well as additional processing modes that yield even better performance for film-rate conversions.

New within Alchemist Ph.C-HD Version 6, the file I/O option incorporating Snell's new FileFlow™ technology allows users to realize the efficiency benefits of end-to-end tapeless workflows while maintaining the exceptional conversion quality delivered by Alchemist Ph.C-HD. At the same time, the system's new real-time processing modes target the low frame rate conversions — below 30 PsF — such as those commonly used for creation of Blu-ray™ and DVD deliverables."Alchemist Ph.C-HD Version 6 with our new file I/O option and low frame rate processing enables users to integrate real-time, high-quality frame rate conversion seamlessly into their broadcast and post-production chains and to deliver content around the world in perfect quality," said Paola Hobson, senior product manager at Snell. "In addition to meeting the operational requirements of an increasingly tapeless world, the newly released Alchemist Ph.C-HD also meets the changing business requirements of global production, broadcast, and media delivery companies."

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Alchemist Ph.C-HD is driven by Snell's Emmy® Award-winning Ph.C phase correlation motion technology, providing the most accurate motion compensated video processing and outputs that are virtually indistinguishable from the input — even with the most demanding types of content and for frame rates up to 1080 60p. The new file I/O available with Alchemist Ph.C-HD Version 6 is supported via optional hardware with a dedicated conversion application. It supports commonly used file formats and codecs, integrating into customer media asset management systems to reduce operational costs while extending the utility of the standards converter across new and existing services.

Motion estimation is very difficult at low frame rates, and the new FilmTools3 option within the Alchemist Ph.C-HD Version 6 offers extra options for users when carrying out slow-frame-rate conversions (23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 PsF). The ability to maintain image quality while performing these conversions not only preserves the value of the client's content, but also opens the door to new markets and business opportunities. Snell also has enhanced the Alchemist Ph.C-HD Version 6 with closed-caption CEA-608/708 compatibility, further extending the value of its industry-leading standards converter.Alchemist Ph.C-HD with new file-based workflow capabilities will be on display at IBC2011 in Snell's stand 8.B68.

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