Article Overview

Betanews transitions OBVans to HD with KahunaTM production switchers

Kahuna Switcher

Snell multiformat Kahuna switcher enables gradual, cost-effective transition to mobile HD production.

The Customer

Betanews, one of Italy’s largest video services providers, has facilities in Naples and Rome. Its clients include broadcasters such as Sky Italia, RAI, Mediaset, and major production companies such as Endemol and Magnolia.

The Challenge

To upgrade its mobile television OB vehicles to full high-definition capability while maintaining the fl exibility to work with legacy standard-definition equipment and technology.


The Snell Solution

Kahuna, the world’s fi rst and only production switcher to enable simultaneous standard (SD) and highdefinition (HD) operations on the same control surface and in the same mainframe Kahuna enables the user to integrate any SD video including live cameras, graphics or archives into HD productions, seamlessly, without the need for upconversion. It also allows HD material to be incorporated into HD productions without the need for downconversion. As demand for HD production becomes increasingly common, Kahuna opens up an enormous range of opportunities for companies like Betanews. For example, there is often a requirement in live sports and music events for SD and HD outputs of the same program material. Kahuna makes it easy and cost eff ective to output simultaneous SD and HD versions of any program feed. Operators can use captions, graphics, handheld shots, and archives without having to worry about the compatibility of formats or standards. No other switcher now available in the world can do this without outboard equipment. With Kahuna, there is no need to upgrade a broadcast facility with all HD sources. There is no need for upconversion of SD material. Kahuna enables users to make the transition to HD gradually, extending the useful life of legacy SD equipment.

The Results

Betanews purchased two Kahuna production switchers to upgrade its OB vehicles. Following the successful installation of a four-M/E SD/HD Kahuna in its fl agship OB vehicle, Esterna 10, Betanews bought a second Kahuna switcher to continue its gradual migration to full HD operation. Kahuna eliminated the need for Betanews to invest in a complete HD overhaul or purchase channels of external upconversion to integrate sources from legacy SD equipment into HD productions. “We have been very happy with the performance of the Kahuna unit installed in our Esterna 10 vehicle, and we chose Kahuna again because there simply were no other competitors that could off er the same functionality in a single box”, said Umberto Chiariello, managing director of Betanews. “The integration of the Kahuna into an OBvan enables flexible, resolutionindependent production and allows us to meet the needs of our clients not only in terms of format, but also in terms of quality”.