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Manhattan Center Handles Multiple Shows With GV Kayenne

NEW YORK—Manhattan Center Productions is a full-service production facility, and in a business such as this, video production switchers are probably the most important element in the plant. They have to handle a myriad of projects, be ready to go at all times, and—in our case—be intuitive to operate by the multiple freelance operators we employ.

Just like a lot of operations on that transition to digital and high definition, when we set about rebuilding our main studio, we wanted to start with a clean slate, as we knew that we the facility we were creating would have to be as future-proof as possible. This starts with the switcher, and in our case, we shopped not only for a unit that was going to meet our needs for a long time, but also one that was compact, as physical space was tight.

Travis Butler We kicked a lot of tires before selecting a Grass Valley Kayenne video production center. That was nearly a year ago and we’ve never looked back. The Grass system has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and has allowed us to keep cranking out the many shows that we’re involved in.

In each case the operator establishes switcher settings for their show and then saves them within the switcher’s internal memory (or on a removable disk drive). When it’s time to do another episode, those settings are recalled, saving a lot of setup time.

Operators familiar with GV switchers are immediately able to work with the Kayenne. They’re impressed with the power of the panel and the number of keyers behind it.

I’m also impressed with the frame’s expandability and the fact that it can handle 3 Gbps signals. We have to live with this switcher for a long time, so it has to accommodate HD workflows both now and into the future (including 3D projects requiring two 1.5 Gbps paths).

We also own a Grass Valley Trinix 256 x 256 HD router that’s managed by Grass Valley’s Jupiter AccuSwitch control system software. The new Kayenne panel is fully integrated into that matrix to provide switcher operators with unlimited access to the router’s feeds through the Kayenne control surface, and it can be set up to access a limited amount of sources or the entire router. Having immediate access to the signals needed to do a show saves us a lot of time and effort, and with the Kayenne, the operators can do it all themselves.

We also have several Grass Valley K2 Summit servers, which integrate very nicely with the Kayenne. This is possible due to Grass Valley’s Fusion networking protocol along with a Grass Valley GeckoFlex fiber backbone for transport of HD signals throughout the facility.

I’m convinced that even if they’ve never used a Grass Valley production switcher before, anyone can sit down and begin operating the Kayenne within a few hours. Its operation is really that intuitive.

Travis Butler has served as chief engineer at Manhattan Center Productions since 2005. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Grass Valley at 800-547-8949 or visit