Snell & Wilcox's 3-M/E Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher has been installed at the Czech Republic's TV Nova to support the launch of the channel's new HD broadcast services, the first in the region. The unit was supplied through TSL, the systems integrator for TV Nova's new HD production and transmission facility in Prague.
"TV Nova is among the commercial television stations leading the development of independent media throughout Eastern Europe, and the transition to HD production and transmission is a very important step in the growth of this market," said Ivo Ferkl, CTO at TV Nova. "We are committed to delivering a high-quality HD product to viewers, and the Kahuna multiformat switcher from Snell & Wilcox will give our operators - and our facility as a whole - the power, flexibility, and efficiency we need to meet our HD goals. As we look across the region, we see Snell & Wilcox providing the same vital support for other stations moving to HD."
The project, designed by TSL, includes an HD studio and an HD server-based playout facility for an initial two channels, which went live at the end of 2007. The full-time HD experimental service has been provided over the SES Astra satellite and over DVB-T networks, becoming the second Central European Media Enterprises (CME)-owned station to broadcast in HD. CME has purchased a total of five Kahuna production switchers, one of which has been installed at TV Nova in Prague; three of which are online at Pro TV in Romania and Nova TV in Croatia; and the last of which will be installed to support the Studio 1+1 channel in the Ukraine.
"TSL's systems knowledge and prior HD experience has enabled us to provide a cutting-edge infrastructure, which includes Snell & Wilcox's Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher. This installation forms strong foundations for future channels at TV Nova," explained David Phillips, TSL's CEO.
The Kahuna enables operators at TV Nova to mix existing SD camera feeds, graphics, handheld shots and archive footage directly into an HD production with no need to purchase expensive HD upgrades or extra HD upconversion equipment. A proprietary Snell & Wilcox technology called FormatFusion ensures seamless integration of SD sources into HD productions and vice versa, without the need for conversion. With exceptionally low delay, the Kahuna provides the advanced processing necessary for working in a multiformat environment.
Equipped with the dual twin-channel Impakt 3D DVE option, the Kahuna also gives operators the ability to apply a comprehensive range of effects - including warps, tiling, ripples, rolls, and peels, with trailstore and lighting effects - to the keyers and background transitions. The combination of intelligent SD/HD format handing and powerful effects options make the Kahuna an ideal solution for broadcasters making the transition to HD.
"The launch of HD services will complement TV Nova's already very strong programming and contribute to the broadcaster's continued leadership within the Czech market," said Joe Zaller, vice president, corporate development, at Snell & Wilcox. "The Kahuna offers proven performance with flexible, reliable operation and supports a high production standard that will enable TV Nova to deliver a very appealing broadcast product to Czech viewers."