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3sixtymedia Equips Its Manchester Studios With a Second Kahuna SD/HD Multiformat Production Switcher


Snell & Wilcox today announced that the U.K.’s 3sixtymedia, the ITV Productions/BBC Resources joint venture based at The Manchester Studios, has purchased a second Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher to support general studio production. The new Kahuna is installed in Studio 8, where it will allow the company to meet current production demands while preparing for future growth.

“Since our installation of the first Kahuna in Studio 12 a year ago, we’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from vision mixers and production,” said Paul Bennett, Director of Northern Resources for ITV Productions. “We were originally attracted to the system because of its ability to switch to multiformat SD/HD operation without the need to purchase additional hardware and because the system introduces a maximum delay of only one frame. The open architecture of the desk gives us huge flexibility, and the auxiliary panel for a second operator has proved ideal for handling complex shows.”

Kahuna’s versatility allows for macro-based remapping of every button on the control surface and panels, allowing buttons to be programmed to perform tasks such as 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.

Both of 3sixtymedia’s Kahuna systems feature a separate master auxiliary panel, six remote auxiliary panels, four channels of DVE, and an 80-input option. The master auxiliary panel is valuable in the many live productions for which two vision mixers are contracted, one to cut the main show and a second to switch floor feeds and ISO records. A new micro panel, also used by the second vision mixer, runs a series of macros, switching different layers of keying on and off as required by the director.

The Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher already installed in 3sixtymedia’s Studio 12 has provided versatile source selection, access, and mixing capabilities that have been invaluable in the creation of television programs, such as “Soapstar Superstar,” “Mastermind,” and “A Question of Sport.” The new Kahuna system enhances the facility’s production capabilities, allowing 3sixtymedia to produce a second series of ITV Productions’ “Soapstar Superstar” sister show, “Bonus Tracks,” as well as ITV’s live daily show, “Soapstar Superchef.” It also doubles the facility’s future capacity to handle multiple formats in live production and when working with prerecorded and archive material.

With Snell & Wilcox’s IMPAKT DVE feature, Kahuna operators at 3sixtymedia have access to a variety of powerful effects including spheres, slabs, zooms, warps, tiling, ripples, rolls and peels, fragmentation, lighting effects, and corner pinning. All these options are housed in the Kahuna’s compact, 11-RU mainframe and require no additional connections or extra rack space.

3sixtymedia has begun using the Studio 8 Kahuna production switcher in SD-only mode. The future-proof design of the Snell & Wilcox switcher allows operators to work initially in SD-only and then make a simple upgrade to multiformat SD/HD operation when the studio shifts into HD production. In multiformat SD/HD mode, Kahuna users can mix existing SD camera feeds, graphics, handheld shots, and archive footage directly into an HD production with no need to purchase expensive HD upgrades or extra HD upconversion equipment. The Snell & Wilcox FormatFusion technology allows operators to integrate SD sources into HD productions seamlessly, and vice versa, without the need for conversion.

More information about the Kahuna and other Snell & Wilcox products is available at

3sixtymedia, the ITV Productions/BBC Resources joint venture based in Manchester, provides studio, location services, postproduction, and creative facilities for broadcast, film, and commercial production throughout the United Kingdom. More information about 3sixtymedia is available online at

Snell & Wilcox designs and builds the world’s most advanced systems for video playout, mastering, repurposing, infrastructure, and live production switching. Providing solutions that deliver immediate value while enabling a controlled and cost-effective transition to HD and file-based systems, the company serves a worldwide base of customers in the broadcast, postproduction, cable, satellite, mobile TV, and IPTV markets. In business since 1973, Snell & Wilcox maintains its U.S. headquarters in Burbank, Calif., and European headquarters in Hampshire, U.K. Additional offices are located in New York, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia. Further information is available at


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