SAM’s Kahuna Shines for WFYI Public Media

WFYI Public Media is a PBS member television station that produces local and original content across Indiana.
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INDIANAPOLIS—WFYI Public Media is a PBS member television station that produces local and original content across Indiana. Recently we decided it was finally time to upgrade our control room. However, we faced the common challenge of producing high-quality content while keeping costs low. More specifically, we were looking for a switcher that could provide excellent production capabilities and flexible operations without the costs typically associated with large production switchers.

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Frank Konerman, WFYI videographer, operates the Kahuna switcher. We originally heard about Snell Advanced Media at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. WFYI kept an eye on the development of the company’s Kahuna switcher series through several years of visiting SAM’s booth. WFYI decided to have a “switcher shoot-out” with other vendors Sony and Grass Valley in July of 2015. We invited several technical directors that switch our weekly TV shows to participate in our demonstration and testing. Ultimately, Clayton Taylor, vice president of production, and myself made the final decision to purchase the Kahuna.

KEEPING THE FUTURE AFFORDABLE
Our business programming is a significant priority at the station, which airs across all of Indiana. It was imperative for us to make a smooth and efficient transition that would yield the feature-rich results we were looking for.

Delivering more firepower, flexibility and 4K capabilities than our previous switcher, SAM’s Kahuna 4800 gave us the freedom to combine mixers, keyers and DVE effects to create any on-air style. We were originally using a Grass Valley switcher, but the performance of SAM’s Kahuna 4800 with its price point was unrivalled.

For public media organizations like WFYI, our switch to the Kahuna 4800 was ideal because it provided a solution for the high-quality production we needed at an affordable price. Not only were we able to save money, but Kahuna also dramatically reduced the overhead costs associated with show set-up times and allowed us to turn around content within seconds. Its easy-to-use interface and smooth integration for any production setting helped us reduce both integration and deployment costs that eventually led us to further savings in training and support.

FLEXIBLE FORMATS
At WFYI Public Media, we broadcast and distribute a large volume of high-profile shows, so it’s essential to be able to produce these shows weekly in various formats. SAM’s Kahuna 4800 provides us with a great degree of flexibility allowing us to work with a wide array of video layouts and graphics.

In fact, as of April, we’ve already been able to broadcast multiple live shows including “Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick” and “Indiana Week In Review” using the new switcher. It’s been a truly seamless process and we’re looking forward to further exploring its potential.

Pass serves as director of engineering of WFYI Public Media, Indiana’s flagship PBS and NPR member station and the home of WFYI Productions. He possesses more than three decades of broadcast and management experience, having successfully directed new business operations, managed media production companies, and facilitated major communications and engineering operations. He can be contacted at Npass@wfyi.org.

For more information, please visit www.s-a-m.comor call 212-944-6820.