The New York Giants entered the 2020 season with a new coach and a new starting quarterback. Off the field, the team started the year with a new digital production workflow and communications method, courtesy of KMH Audio-Video Integration. “The Giants are constantly updating their production workflows and communications methods,” says Kevin Henneman, KMH president.
Henneman says the KMH teams helped establish two new standards for the Giants: managing safe and healthy communications in the age of COVID-19 while also advancing technical workflows with the Sony PWS-4500. The team’s migration to the Sony PWS-4500 production server significantly increases operational productivity and efficiency. KMH also installed a TriplePlay Interactive IPTV portal to help coaches more effectively communicate with players, especially with new health and safety guidelines for maintaining proper distancing and limiting personal interaction.
When KMH first began streamlining the Giants’ production, Henneman surveyed the existing workflow, based on Sony’s XDCAM optical disc media format, and determined replacing the XDCAM decks with the PWS server would greatly increase productivity and efficiency.
Working closely with the Giants’ IT staff, the new server was added to the media network and supports a fully unified 4K-capable file workflow interfacing to the Giants existing Isilon archive and shared storage environment. The team is now able to ingest, control and share HD and 4K content more easily between the production control rooms and edit suites within MetLife Stadium and at the adjacent Quest Diagnostics training facility. The PWS-4500 can be enhanced with an optional board for IP network production, which means the Giants no longer have to walk between one facility to the other to physically deliver content.
“We’re always looking to improve turnaround time from camera to air, including distribution to digital platforms and social media outlets to satisfy our fans’ demand for new and engaging content,” says Don Sperling, vice president & executive producer for the New York Giants. “Our ingest and playback capabilities had become bottle-necked due to our expanding workflow and increasing content creation. KMH was able to find the right solution for us while ensuring no disruptions to our current operations or requiring an inordinate amount of time for staff to be trained on new operations.”
Moving to a 4K Future
The Giants are also now using the PWS server to replace the unit they had been renting each season to support post-game shows with roll-ins of recorded game highlights. Multiple control points are integrated so no changes were needed to the original operator positions. Instead, the single server is operated from one position for ingest and media management, with a second position supporting the show as a traditional replay server.
“From day one, the server fit seamlessly into their existing file-based workflows,” Henneman explains. “It’s easy to learn and, in the case of the Giants, their lead operator was up and running with the system within 24 hours ingesting new feeds, editing and creating highlights while accessing media on the shared storage and editing platform. We collaborated with the Giants IT teams to make sure the access points and production shares were configured properly to get the most out of the system.”
Additionally, the system is scalable so as the organization grows so does the system without having to tear everything apart.
Better, Faster Communications
The highly configurable TriplePlay IPTV system allows for scheduled content like menus or travel and training schedules to be quickly updated and displayed throughout the Quest facility. The coaching staff can weigh in as to what they want shown on specific screens, with users able to address individual TVs or groups of displays in any combination.
“With this system, players will see reminders in the weight room about blocking technique, for example, and the proper related weight training,” Henneman says. “It’s all coaching related. They are now able to target the information flow to the athletes on a day-by-day or game-by-game basis. We configured the system so they can use the technology to augment their teaching and coaching.”
KMH’s Proven Track Record
KMH has played a key role in updating each aspect of the team’s production areas, especially at Quest. Sperling and his team use the facility year-round to produce postgame shows, press conferences, training-camp coverage and year-round digital content.
Starting in 2015, Henneman and his team first reorganized the control room and studio physical space, and also redesigned the post-production area by re-orienting the editors’ positions. As a result of this spatial reorganization and file-workflow consolidation, the Giants were able to increase their postproduction capacity by 50 percent.
KMH also designed and built an isolated audio-control booth to separate audio operators from the control-room’s bustling environment, and they designed and integrated a fully 4K-capable studio and control room at Quest. KMH is continuing its work upgrading the Giants’ workflow to a hybrid HD and 4K production workflow.
“Our collaborative relationship with KMH has yielded tangible results in production quality and efficiency,” adds Sperling. “With our new 4K capable workflow and enhanced communications, working with KMH is helping the Giants future-proof its productions and communications.”