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Telecinco (Tele 5) Scores Big With Confederations Cup Coverage Driven By Snell Solutions

For its coverage of the FIFA Confederations Cup football tournament, Spanish broadcaster Telecinco had two important allies: Snell's Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher working in conjunction with the Snell IQ Modular IQARC00 conversion and signalling module.
Together, the Snell solutions enabled Telecinco to simultaneously deliver live match coverage in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, giving Spanish football fans the best-possible image and viewing experience from both widescreen and traditional-sized televisions.
In order to serve the widest range of viewers, Telecinco decided to broadcast Confederations Cup matches over both its PAL analog channel and its digital terrestrial channel. Since the station's program output is in 16:9, Telecinco needed an easy and cost-effective means of converting the stream to 4:3 for the analog broadcast.
Luis M. Gonzalez, Project Manager at Telecinco, said: "Although the number of widescreen 16:9 televisions is rapidly growing, we still have a large section of viewers who are watching 4:3 sets as well. If we broadcast only in 4:3, our 16:9 viewers would have to stretch the image to fill the screen or else watch the matches with pillarboxes.
"The Kahuna switcher and IQARC00 offered the perfect solution by allowing us to produce a 16:9 program feed and a simultaneous 4:3 clean feed for use by other programs using our existing infrastructure and with very little additional effort on the part of our technical managers and operators."
With its embedded FormatFusion technology, Snell's Kahuna is the world's first and only true multiformat SD/HD production switcher - capable of handling multiple broadcast formats in the same mainframe and on the same control panel. Thus, Telecinco was able to produce the two simultaneous broadcast streams without having to purchase external conversion equipment. The IQARC00 module handles the aspect ratio conversion from 16:9 to 4:3 for the analog channel and integrates with the station's automation system to ensure that the format conversion is frame-accurate. In addition, the modules provide WSS signaling to ensure that both 4:3 and 16:9 televisions can adjust their aspect ratios to the content.
Gonzalez added: "Of the vendors we evaluated, some offered signaling and some provided aspect ratio conversion, but Snell was the only one to meet all of our requirements. Also, Snell products are well-known for their quality, reliability and world-class support, which was critical in our ability to ensure 24/7, bulletproof operations for the Confederations Cup."
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