Eurovision, the operational body of the European Broadcast Union (EBU) and the world's largest television contribution network, has installed 10 Snell & Wilcox Alchemist Ph.C motion-compensated standards converters at its Washington DC and Geneva sites for conversion of its transmissions to and from US and European broadcast standards.
The Alchemist Ph.C systems installed at both sites provide the superior motion-compensated conversion performance needed for fast-moving, high-quality content such as sporting events. Eurovision transmits 15,000 hours of sport and cultural events per year with 70 satellite gateways worldwide, more than 1,700 digital decoders and 400 encoders in operation, and more than 300 television stations equipped with direct reception. The 10 new Alchemist Ph.C converters are split between Eurovision's main US and Europe facilities, where they are linked directly to the transmission site. This enables Eurovision to deliver simultaneous standards conversion in both locations.
"Eurovision has one of the world's most extensive television transmission networks, and the company handles a vast volume of sports content," said Joe Zaller, vice president of marketing at Snell & Wilcox. "The fast-moving images typical of sports content can be extremely challenging for standards converters, but the Alchemist Ph.C enables Eurovision to transmit this material at the best possible quality. It offers exceptional conversion capability and mission-critical reliability for 24-hour operations."
The Eurovision network offers permanent coverage from Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Asia Pacific region, as well as specialised, ad hoc coverage of events in Africa and the Pacific Rim. Its recent special-events coverage includes the 2006 FIFA World Cup; Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to Turkey; the World Youth Days in K_ln, Germany; and the G8 Summit held July 15-17 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Because of its worldwide reach, many of Asia's major broadcasters - such as CCTV in China, NHK in Japan, and Hong Kong Cable - also use the EBU to receive high-quality sports transmissions, as well as news reports from their foreign correspondents.
A long-time Snell & Wilcox customer, Eurovision already has a large number of Snell & Wilcox standards converters. These have been used for the international distribution of many high-profile sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup, as well as for the international distribution of news content.