Extron Equipment in Antarctica

When Norbert Wu set out to produce an HDTV program about Antarctica's underwater world, he knew Extron equipment would step up to the challenge. Wu is the producer and director of photography for "Under Antarctic Ice," an HDTV production for Thirteen/WNET New York's Nature series, which airs on PBS.

Leading an underwater photography team, Wu filmed footage of fascinating marine life and their myriad seascapes while working from the US Antarctic Program's base at McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica.

In Wu's Words...

Wu commented: "When working in a place as remote and as harsh as Antarctica, with technology as untested as the new HDTV equipment, it was gratifying to bring along Extron's marvelous CVC 200, an HD or component to RGB converter. This device will output the signal from the Sony HDW-700A HDCAM to any device that accepts RGBHV signals. This includes almost any newer model multi-sync computer monitor. With Extron's 5 BNC to VGA cable and 'VGA gender changer,' the CVC 200 output great pictures (anamorphic) to a computer monitor, thus eliminating the need for a backup HD monitor. With the addition of the Extron VSC 200 scan converter, we were able to output the HD images to standard NTSC monitors.

"We used the CVC 200 during my recent shoot in Antarctica, outputting our HD images to computer monitors and large-screen projectors for ourselves and to show the audience at the US base at McMurdo Station. I worked out of McMurdo Station from October 1999 through early February 2000 under the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Artists and Writers Program (part of its science-based US Antarctic Program) to document the underwater world of Antarctica. The resulting program will air in fall 2001 on Thirteen/WNET New York's Nature series, which airs on PBS."

Using Extron's CVC 200 HDTV and Component Video to RGB Converter

Wu and his team used an astonishing array of gear to support their diving, filming, and photography efforts. In addition to equipment for protection against the sub-freshwater-freezing temperatures, Wu used Sony HDW-700A high-definition camcorders to film 1080i HD images. To view them on an RGBHV monitor or large screen projector, he used the CVC 200 universal, high-resolution HDTV and component video to RGBS or RGBHV converter. The CVC 200 converted the 1080i component video into RGBHV compatible with multi-sync computer monitors. Wu then used his computer monitors to check the color and focus of footage shot with the Sony HDCAMs (see diagram above).

The CVC 200 accepts HDTV rates 480p, 720p, 1080i, and SMPTE 240M as well as Betacam, SMPTE component video, W-VHS, and DVD component video for conversion to RGBS or RGBHV. In addition to enabling the display of HDTV and component video images on RGB monitors and projectors, the CVC 200 may also be used for converting video from DVD sources to analog RGB signals to display DVD images on RGB projection screens.

Using Extron's VSC 200 Computer-to-Video Scan Converter

To view HD images on an NTSC monitor or to make VHS dubs, Wu used the CVC 200 and the VSC 200 high-resolution computer-to-video scan converter. The CVC 200's RGBHV output was sent to the VSC 200. Then, the VSC 200 scan converted the high-resolution HD video signals down to NTSC video. Wu had a choice of running composite video to an NTSC monitor for viewing or running S-video to a Hi-8 camcorder for dubbing to VHS tape (see adjacent diagram).

The VSC 200 uses Extron's exclusive advanced digital processing to convert computer-video images as high as 1280 x 1024 down to NTSC or PAL video. Four user-selectable levels of horizontal filtering minimize picture detail loss, while five user-selectable levels of vertical filtering red uce flicker. Three user-selectable levels of encoder filtering adjust encoder sharpness performance. For additional picture adjustments, freeze mode, zoom, horizontal & vertical sizing, and horizontal & vertical centering/pan controls are provided. The VSC 200 includes 130 factory/user presets for saving image settings.

For more information about Wu's expeditions to Antarctica, please visit

Extron CVC 200

The Extron CVC 200

The Extron CVC 200 The Extron VSC200

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CVC 200

Component Video and HDTV to RGB Converter

VSC 200

High-Resolution Computer-to-Video Scan Converter, up to 1280 x 1024