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3sixtymedia deploys Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher

3sixtymedia, an ITV Productions/BBC Resources joint venture broadcast studio, has invested in the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD production switcher.
Installed at Studio 12 in Manchester, the Kahuna offers extremely versatile source selection, access, and mixing capabilities that have been invaluable in the creation of complex television programs such as ‘Soapstar Superstar’ and ‘A Question of Sport.’
The Kahuna’s unique ability to enable simultaneous SD and HD operations on the same control surface and in the same mainframe provides 3sixtymedia with a future-proof, fully HD-capable solution that has integrated smoothly into the studio’s existing infrastructure and will support more advanced broadcast systems and productions as further upgrades are made to the facility.
“In consultation with our vision mixers and engineering staff, we looked at every production switcher on the market, and the Kahuna was the clear choice,” said Paul Bennett, Head of Studio & Location Services for ITV Productions. “The Kahuna interface is well-liked by operators for its ease of use and feature set, and the system’s open architecture gives us enormous flexibility in managing sources and other devices, and the auxiliary panel for a second operator is ideal for production of complex shows.”
Kahuna’s unprecedented flexibility enables 3sixtymedia to work initially in SD-only mode and later, after refurbishing its studio, monitoring, and infrastructure, upgrade to multiformat SD/HD operation. In multiformat SD/HD mode, Kahuna’s unique FormatFusion technology allows SD sources to be integrated seamlessly into HD productions and vice versa, with no need for expensive HD upgrades or extra HD upconversion equipment.
3sixtymedia replaced an aging mixer with a 3-M/E Kahuna system featuring a 4-M/E option installed in the mainframe, a separate master auxiliary panel, six remote auxiliary panels, four channels of DVE, and an 80-input option. To give the system even greater power in mixed- or dual-format productions, the studio added new switcher options including ancillary data on the auxiliary output, a modulation option, and extended background FormatFusion.
The open architecture of the Kahuna allows every button on the control surface, including the auxiliary panels and remote panels, to be re-mapped using macros. As a result, Kahuna auxiliary panel buttons can be programmed, very simply, to perform any task that a macro can control, whether it be mixing two sources, selecting sources for a particular M/E bank, running a DVE move, controlling a disk recorder, or any number of other time-saving actions.
“We became interested in the Kahuna when we saw the system at IBC2004, and by the time we were ready to purchase, it was already a front-runner in its field,” said Eric Donbavand, Technical Supervisor for 3sixtymedia. “The switcher has been a flexible and dependable solution that meets our current production needs, and we’ve received very positive feedback on the Kahuna from both Soapstar Superstar‚ and A Question of Sport. In addition to providing technical quality and operational flexibility, the Kahuna gives us the freedom to migrate to HD work cost-effectively and at our own pace.”
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