HBO Builds Hybrid Edit Suite on Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD Multiformat Production Switcher

HBO has
created an innovative new hybrid post-production room built around the Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production
switcher, which handles content in virtually any format and offers real-time
film-effects capabilities. HBO’s “Hybrid C” is a hybrid real-time
editing room that combines linear HD editing with a nonlinear tapeless workflow
to enable fast editing and delivery of day-of-air programming in HD. The room
also supports editing of more complex long-form programming for HBO’s sports,
family and documentary departments.
“We
stress quality in the way HBO programming is created, and this commitment is
reflected in the tools we use in our new edit room,” says Dominic
Ambrosio, vice president of studio operations at HBO. “The Kahuna
incorporates everything we need to operate effectively in the HD world. The
switcher’s versatility, reliability, and quality make it the perfect switching
station for everything HD, and its flexibility lets us leverage a greater
number of resources toward a quality on-air product.”
HBO’s
move to HD required that the company achieve an efficient HD workflow for
post-production of original programming, and sports in particular, that would
match the quick editing turnaround HBO had established for its SD content.
Equipped with the Kahuna SD/HD switcher, an editor with random-access visual
editing, a six-channel server with removable drives and multidefinition DDRs,
HBO’s hybrid edit room relies on an edit system and switcher combination —
rather than a conventional nonlinear system — to support rapid editing
of programs such as “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” in a tapeless
environment. The Kahuna-based editing workflow has allowed HBO to recut
features for premier sports programming, such as selected HBO World
Championship Boxing events, and air them the same day. The same work in post
previously required two and a half days.
Without
the need to digitize content, editors can begin work on live material
immediately, as it enters the facility, and combine it with graphics off tape
or disk. The Kahuna’s internal conversion capability and handling of multiple
frame rates eliminates the need for additional outboard equipment in working
with a variety of formats. Real-time rendering of video with effects, including
the one-of-a-kind Film Effects available through the switcher’s IMPAKT DVE option, allows the HBO team
to make video look like film in just a fraction of the time and cost previously
required.
“We
built this room for where we’re going at HB — not where we are now —
and Snell & Wilcox has been a valuable partner in realizing this
vision,” adds Ambrosio. “The Kahuna allows our creative group to work
without limits to its style and serves as an exceptionally versatile tool for
delivering the best possible content. We strive to push the envelope in the
creative process, and our new Kahuna-centered workflow allows us to get quality
content to market faster and to respond quickly to changing market trends.
Snell & Wilcox’s continued work in the lab lines up well with our future
goals, and we like what we see on the horizon in terms of further technology
development. Hybrid C offers a state-of-the-future high-definition, high-speed,
and high-energy work environment.”
“In
a world in which nonlinear editing is the conventional approach to
post-production, HBO has branched out in a different direction, building a
highly efficient hybrid editing room featuring the Kahuna production switcher
in concert with an editor and disk-based storage systems,” says Joe
Zaller, vice president of corporate development at Snell & Wilcox.
“Hybrid C demonstrates how the power of the Kahuna supports even the most
demanding post-production projects, providing HBO with both creative and
business benefits.”