Renowned Standards Converter From Snell Ensures Quality Conversion of Live 3D Content for Theater Screenings of RBS 6 Nations and Other High-Profile Sports Events
Snell today announced that SIS LIVE, operator of the largest satellite uplink fleet in Europe and the largest outside broadcast provider in the U.K., is using the Alchemist Ph.C – HD to enable 3D conversions during live event broadcasts. SIS LIVE began using the Alchemist Ph.C – HD to support live 3D delivery in February, when the company participated in the O2-sponsored screening of the RBS 6 Nations Rugby tournament at 40 cinemas across the U.K. The Alchemist Ph.C – HD ensured smooth conversion of left- and right-eye video from the 1080i50 production standard to the 720p60 standard required to reduce flicker and ensure high viewing quality on theater screens.
“Snell has developed a well-earned reputation for delivering superior-quality conversion with the Alchemist product line,” said Julian Boden, head of engineering at SIS LIVE. “At the last minute, in order to deliver our 3D rugby feed into the U.K. cinema network, we needed signals formatted in 720p60. Past experience with Snell products led me to suggest to the engineering team that Alchemist would neatly solve the problem and deliver the required quality to the end customer. We were able to take our 1080i50 output directly through the Alchemist to fulfill this requirement. The Snell solution bolted straight into our workflow and worked right out of the box.”
The Alchemist Ph.C – HD is among the many systems across Snell’s award-winning product portfolio that are 3D-ready and already being used to support 3D production around the world. Equipped to support image processing, live production, automation, workflow control, and distribution within the 3D environment, Snell’s 3D-capable systems allow broadcasters to leverage powerful, familiar tools in meeting the rising demand for 3D content.
SIS LIVE integrated the Alchemist Ph.C – HD into the 3D delivery workflow and provided both the satellite uplink and OB facilities for the RBS 6 Nations Rugby tournament. Arqiva provided the downlink at Odeon and Cineworld cinemas. During the event, produced by 3D specialist Inition, seven 3D cameras (both mirror and side-by-side rigs), along with a number of 2D cameras, captured the action. The 1080i50 output from the switcher was converted to 720p50 and then the separate left and right streams were compressed by a SENSIO encoder into one 720p50 side-by-side stream at 1.5 Gbps. The resulting signal was converted to 720p60 by the Alchemist Ph.C – HD and distributed to cinemas. Dolby® D audio was successfully passed through the Alchemist Ph.C – HD in data mode and delivered along with video.
“Key Snell systems feature enhancements that are targeted to the requirements of 3D production and transmission,” said Neil Maycock, chief marketing officer at Snell. “By integrating smoothly with other best-of-breed systems, meeting a high performance standard, and contributing valuable functionality to the 3D workflow, the Alchemist Ph.C – HD and other Snell products simplify delivery of quality 3D content.”
International broadcasters will be working with the Alchemist Ph.C – HD for yet another high-profile sports broadcast as they deliver 3D coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.