New York Giants Up Year-Round Production Game With KMH Integration
When the New York Football Giants looked to upgrade and expand production capabilities, it took a cross-country trip and a chance meeting to find systems integrator — and fellow New Yorker — KMH Integration. At NAB 2015, KMH President Kevin Henneman met New York Giants VP/Executive Producer Don Sperling through a mutual relationship with Sony, and, less than three months later, an overhaul of the team’s production facility at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, was under way.
Located approximately a quarter mile from MetLife Stadium, Quest houses the Giants’ locker room, weight room, dining room, and practice field, as well as a studio and control room for the team’s postgame, training-camp, and press-conference shows, as well as year-round digital content.
“We’re only at the stadium 10 days a year for our two preseason games and our eight home games,” says Sperling. “This is where we live, this is where we thrive, this is where we do everything — where the players, the team, and the entire Giants organization operates.”
After six years in the current control room, the Giants decided it was time for an upgrade. Although the team produces the postgame show for home games out of MetLife Stadium’s massive control room, the away-game show — as well as copious amounts of linear and digital shoulder programming — is produced out of Quest.
“The amount of technology that we needed to produce a really high-end network-level postgame show, we didn’t have here,” says Sperling. “We didn’t have the graphic capacity; we didn’t have the playback capacity; we didn’t have things like EVS not only for highlights but for bringing in all the sound bites from the remote, We had to upgrade.”
Sperling traveled to Las Vegas last April looking for a way to boost the control room’s capabilities, which led to a meeting with Sony and a fortuitous conversation with Henneman.
“We were brought in to meet with their production team to talk about what they wanted to be able to accomplish, what exactly they were going to be doing that was different from before,” says Henneman. “[They were looking for] things like being able to do the postgame interview with the coach in the away locker room and being able to do live on-field interviews and get this all back into the control room at Quest and then switch it out.”
KMH took a look at the existing control-room systems at Quest and targeted the specific areas that needed to be addressed in order to support the team’s requests, which also included better communication with the field and highlights playback. The systems integrator collaborated with the Giants on a new control room that would enhance production capabilities to support the expanded show requirements.
As a result, the room now features an increase in production sources and keying/switching capability, thanks to a new Sony MVS-3000 production switcher, an expanded Miranda KX display processor, and additional Sony displays, along with enhanced routing capacity via Grass Valley for additional flexibility and support.
In addition, the team increased intercom and remote-communications systems with Clear-Com and Telos phone hybrids; installed Evertz modular gear to better the connectivity to Azzurro; modified the room’s patch points; and added a ChyronHego CG Mosaic, Abekas Tria clip player, and EVS XT3 highlights record and playback (the Giants worked with Bexel on an agreement to rent an EVS server for the team’s eight away games).
KMH tied the equipment into a central media network to better facilitate file sharing. Beyond the addition of new equipment and expansion of core systems, the room required an ergonomic overhaul. New technical furniture, provided by Forecast Consoles, was added for all operational areas and positions in the control room.
And, because of the room’s jam-packed production schedule, all this had to be accomplished in six weeks. The control room was shut down on June 22 and returned to service on July 27; after staff training on new equipment and workflows, the room was up and running for training-camp coverage at the beginning of August. The success of the project depended on a highly coordinated effort between KMH and the Giants’ production team, as well as the Giants’ IT and facilities departments.
“It was a very collaborative effort,” says Henneman. “It was a true teamwork environment, and, quite frankly, if it hadn’t been, we wouldn’t have been able to get it done. Everybody from their IT people, their facilities people, their actual production people [helped] us with information on how they used the existing system; it was really one of the best [projects] we’ve had as far as having a really cooperative environment and everybody pulling together.”
With one full NFL season in the books, the Giants will continue to test the capabilities of the control-room gear, streamline workflows, fine-tune production processes, and rely on Henneman and the rest of the KMH team, which is located just a short drive away.
“This year was great,” says Sperling. “It actually was easier to do [the postgame show] from the studio than it was from the stadium. … Every time we needed to do anything either live or on tape, it became much easier and simpler because we had so much more capacity in terms of high-end graphics, the switcher, audio, lighting. Everything got upgraded, so every show here becomes a lot easier and also a lot cleaner and more high-quality.”