Channel 4 has installed eight Snell & Wilcox Quasar Ph.C HD upconverters to enable the new HD simulcast of its programming lineup. The Quasar Ph.C systems allow the broadcaster to deliver upconverted SD content where true HD is not yet available, writes Andy Stout.
Channel 4 HD, which launched in early December 2007, is the UK's first terrestrial HD simulcast. Channel 4 chose the Quasar systems as a key component in its strategy to bring HD programming to the market as quickly as possible, while laying the groundwork for future delivery of native HD content. As the world's first motion-compensated HDTV upconverter, the Quasar Ph.C. delivers twice the resolution of other systems to produce extremely clear and sharp HD outputs from a variety of SD inputs.
"It was critical for our upconverted material to look as good as possible in order for us to deliver the best-possible HD experience to our viewers. Hands down, the Quasar Ph.C provides the highest-quality images of any upconverter we tested, and at a reasonable price point," said Robert Luggar, technology projects and support manager of Channel 4. "In addition, the Quasar was the only system we evaluated that could enable AES embedding to be done in the box, an essential feature to us that cheaper modular converters could not offer."
"The Quasar Ph.C is specifically designed for broadcasters such as Channel 4, who are turning to SD upconversion as a cost-effective path to providing an HD offering but at the same time wanting to astonish their viewers with the highest-quality HD images possible," said Joe Zaller, vice president of corporate development at Snell & Wilcox. "We're pleased that we were able to provide an ideal solution for Channel 4 and play a role in the channel's expanded market share in the UK."