May 18, 2024
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Imagine Communications continues to add ground-breaking features to its Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP),  the industry’s most flexible and practical processing device in both IP and SDI workflows. At the 2023 NAB Show (April 16-19, Las Vegas Convention Center, booth W2775), Imagine will showcase new master control and branding functionality for HD, UHD and HDR in its industry-acclaimed 1RU processing platform.

The SNP Master Control Lite (MCL) personality adds branding, live graphics, and full master control functionality to the latest release of SNP. Offering support for both HD and UHD signals, the SNP MCL can also be configured as an industry-first, ST 2110-compatible dual downstream keyer (DSK). As the SNP is an entirely software-defined application platform built on high-density hardware, the MCL personality can be licensed onto any SNP unit that has ever shipped, enabling current users to easily add this new functionality to their existing system.

“The SNP’s unique architecture allows us to continually add innovative, practical functionality to meet the evolving needs of our customers — in this case, the need to bring the production values of their main channels into the UHD era,” says John Mailhot, CTO Networking and Infrastructure at Imagine Communications. “As UHD becomes a format of choice in many countries, SNP MCL enables broadcasters to create linear channels with proper branding, graphics in UHD and professional transitions under automation control, all in a streamlined, cost-effective package.”

The new SNP MCL personality provides high-value channel release functions within the framework of a powerful 1RU processing platform. Features include full-resolution 10-bit and HDR-capable graphics; four full-frame keyers; three external Key/Fill inputs; full frame sync on every input including Key/Fill; 16 channels of audio processing, including voice over and graphics audio; flexible interfaces, including 12G SDI, 2SI-SDI and ST 2110; and integration with automation systems via the well-known Imagine IconMaster™ switcher protocol, over IP network connections.

The SNP MCL is well suited to multiple applications. Customers using an integrated playout system such as Imagine’s Versio™ platform to make a root broadcast or national feed can use SNP MCL in downstream keyer mode to make specialized versions of the channel for regional splits. For customers running sports channels where the bulk of their UHD content is a production made on a broadcast truck, SNP MCL can be used to upconvert interstitial and remaining content and intermix it with the UHD from the OB truck to make a finished channel that includes both elements. SNP MCL functionality can also be used as a cost-effective disaster recovery solution in parallel with a fully featured, automated integrated playout channel.

For control of the SNP MCL, a desktop pushbutton “hard panel” is available, featuring LCD displays for signal names and high-quality pushbuttons for all functions. The compact hard panel supports fast selection of up to 16 sources onto the program or preset buses, key on/off controls for each of the keyer layers, and transition controls. In addition, all source selections, graphics selections, keys and transitions can be controlled through the Imagine CCSP (Command, Control, and Status Protocol), which is supported on Imagine’s Magellan™ RCP series of panels, as well as by many third-party control and automation systems.

The SNP MCL selects and manages source inputs by controlling an upstream router through Imagine LRC protocol and the Magellan™ Control System.  The Magellan Control System supports integration of third-party SDI routers; it also fully supports ST 2110 IP networking and control of ST 2110 devices through NMOS.

Mailhot adds, “Imagine specializes in master control processing. We’ve been doing large-scale master control for years — on the ground and in the cloud — so our customers can leverage this innovative, new technology with confidence.”

With more than 2,500 units deployed in various applications around the world to date, the SNP has cemented its place as an indispensable part of modern broadcast architectures. Other recent enhancements include JPEG XS support, enabling high-quality, low-latency connectivity for remote production workflows and ground-to-cloud links.

The latest version of SNP, including previews of upcoming functionality, will be part of the demonstrations on the Imagine Communications booth W2775 at the 2023 NAB Show. For more information about all Imagine’s products and solutions, please visit