Manhattan Center, New York City's premiere multimedia and entertainment facility, has upgraded its production capabilities to high-definition (HD) with Grass Valley¢ products and technologies. Manhattan Center's interconnection between the world famous Hammerstein Ballroom, The Grand Ballroom, studio 1, and studio 2 is based on a Grass Valley GeckoFlex¢ fiber backbone, eliminating the majority of copper tie-lines and enabling the transport of HD throughout the facility.
Manhattan Center began purchasing Grass Valley products at the onset of an 18-month facility rebuild, starting with a 3.5 M/E Kayenne¢ Video Production Center switcher. During the rebuild, Manhattan Center was rewired, documented, and upgraded to full HD, connecting studio 1, studio 2, The Grand Ballroom, and the Hammerstein Ballroom.
One of the reasons Travis Butler, my chief engineer, and I decided on the Kayenne was because of the new technology and forward thinking of Grass Valley, said Marvin Williams, Director of Video Engineering & Operations for Manhattan Center Studios and Manhattan Center Productions. The look and design of the Kayenne switcher, with the ability to swap modules and replace them easily, made it a perfect choice for our brand new HD control room. Plus, the Kayenne has a lot of nice features including K2 server and router control from the switcher. All of the freelance TDs that we work with love the flexibility and all of the extra features of the Kayenne.
The upgrade of Manhattan Center included a variety of Grass Valley solutions and technologies, including a Trinix¢ 256x256 HD router, a Jupiter¢ AccuSwitch router and facility control system, an assortment of nine LCD Jupiter control panels added to their existing control panel inventory, and a variety of GeckoFlex frames and modules including AES audio DAs, video DAs, HD electrical to fiber converters, fiber to HD electrical converters, optical transmitters, optical receivers, and spare power supplies. The upgrade also included on-site commissioning of the routing system by Grass Valley Global Services. With the upgrade now complete, Manhattan Center has the capability to use its new control room to shoot in the Hammerstein Ballroom to do concerts, corporate events, boxing, or any other live-to-air type of HD programming.
When it was time to upgrade to HD, Manhattan Center knew what hundreds of other facilities have knownthat Grass Valley solutions deliver the engineering you can rely on and the flexibility that you need in live production environments, said Jeff Rosica, Executive Vice President of Grass Valley. With the Kayenne in place and its infrastructure upgraded, Manhattan Center now has a world-class HD production environment.
Manhattan Centers HD studio on the island of Manhattan, hosts some of the biggest names in entertainment. Its first major production using the Kayenne switcher was for 13 episodes of BBC America's Would You Rather game show, hosted by British talk show icon Graham Norton, as well as BBC Worldwide Productions popular show What Not to Wear. Other productions include numerous episodes of YES Network's CenterStage, 10 episodes of the IFC game show Bunk.