Snell Enhancements to Conversion Products Extend Performance, Quality, and Utility in Current and Future Workflows


Last Updated: December 9, 2010 6:07 pm GMT
(Reading, UK--December 9, 2010) Snell today announced that it has enhanced systems across its line of award-winning motion compensated conversion products, introducing new features and capabilities that deliver the ultimate in quality visual results.

For its industry-leading Alchemist Ph.C-HD standards converter, the company offers a new software release that extends format and metadata support and incorporates even more sophisticated audio and image processing tools. Snell has also upgraded its Mach HD by adding Dolby® E support and by enhancing the system's ability to handle content with fast-moving objects.

"Snell's program of ongoing innovation ensures that Alchemist Ph.C-HD continues to meet our customers' current and future conversion needs," said Paola Hobson, product manager for conversion and restoration at Snell. "In fact, the additional tools and improved performance we've brought to both the Alchemist Ph.C-HD and Mach HD conversion products give customers the functionality and performance they require to deliver the superior-quality HD outputs that are so essential in a highly competitive global marketplace."

Alchemist has dominated motion compensated standards conversion for more than 15 years, and the release of Alchemist Ph.C-HD version 5.1 software maintains this leadership. The release adds 3Gbps 1080 50p and 60p support (available only with the 3Gbps 1080p option) to ensure future-proof operation. Snell has also upgraded the system with further advanced audio processing tools and, with the Dolby E Authoring option, added support for external Dolby metadata. An even more sophisticated adaptive noise reducer not only preserves image clarity, but also enhances efficiency in downstream compression processes. Improved deinterlacing in format conversion modes allows content owners to achieve yet higher cross-conversion quality for same frame-rate format conversions, even with fast-paced sports action and complex detail. Version 5.1 upgrades also include SNMP control and monitoring and a new VANC bypass mode so that data carried in the VANC can be seamlessly transferred in all pass-through or ARC modes.

The FilmTools option for Alchemist Ph.C-HD also has been enhanced, and now features a user-adjustable Video-to-Film Blur utility that facilitates the addition of controlled blur to areas of movement during any video-to-film conversion. Snell's Emmy® Award-winning Ph.C motion measurement technology ensures that the amount of blur is proportional to the direction and speed of the motion so that fast-moving objects will be blurred more than slower ones. This feature allows users to add a more film-like look by mimicking the blur usually associated with production on 35mm film.

The Mach HD SD/HD motion compensated standards and cross converter with synchronization capability provides upconversion, downconversion, and crossconversion both within and between frame rates. Snell has upgraded units now shipping — the Mach HD version 4 — with a new Dolby E option that supports the passing of a single Dolby E stream in frame-rate conversion modes and enables Dolby E decoding and transcoding. Supplied with Dolby E processing, these Mach HD units can automatically process eight pairs of PCM/non-PCM audio.

Mach HD version 4 is available with four modes of Dolby E audio processing: frame-rate conversion, same frame-rate mode (pass-through), same frame-rate mode (decode and encode), and Dolby E decode. The newly enhanced Mach HD offers even better performance when frame-rate converting SD and HD content and incorporates new algorithms to further improve the quality results when converting content with fast-moving objects.

More information about Alchemist Ph.C-HD, the Mach HD, and other Snell products is available online at

About Snell:
Snell is a leading innovator in digital media technology and provides broadcasters and global media companies with a comprehensive range of solutions to create, better manage, and streamline the distribution of content for today's multi-screen world. Snell provides the tools necessary to transition seamlessly and cost-effectively to HDTV, stereoscopic 3D, and 3Gbps operations. Headquartered in the U.K., Snell serves more than 2,000 broadcasters, post facilities, and global media companies in more than 100 countries through its worldwide team of sales and support personnel. More information is available at


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