NJPAC Fits Up New Performing Arts Center

Broadcast-quality systems
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NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Performing Arts Center announced the installation of a broadcast production system and a significant expansion of its in-house television production capabilities. Located in the New York City region, the system transforms NJPAC into a world-class broadcast center that will generate new revenue streams at a fraction of the cost. NBC's popular reality show America’s Got Talent was among the first network programs to use the new state-of-the-art technology when the show’s producers shot auditions for the next season at NJPAC in early March.

Additions to NJPAC’s broadcast production, operation and technical presentation functions were accomplished in collaboration with its business partner, and Newark neighbor, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America.

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NJPAC’s Broadcast center control room

“We’re transforming the New Jersey Performing Arts Center into a broadcast center that’s among the most cost efficient, up-to-date, and visually stunning in the world,” said John Schreiber, president and CEO of NJPAC. “Broadcasting is an important part of the Arts Center’s story of growth.We’re creating opportunities to position ourselves for expansion and new revenues. Broadcasts also enable us to deliver arts learning opportunities to millions, not thousands, of kids each season. With Panasonic’s help, NJPAC is evolving into a flexible, creative and accessible organization, fulfilling our mission to present the best of the arts to uniquely diverse audiences.”

NJPAC is New Jersey’s largest performing arts center and one of the largest in the U.S. Among performing arts centers and musical performance venues in the U.S., NJPAC may be unique as the most advanced and best-equipped to handle all aspects of video production within its own facility.

“The NJPAC project is a wonderful initiative that will support education in the arts and distance learning, both of which have long-term benefits for the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey,” said Joseph M. Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. “But, what really struck me about the project, was the potential this broadcast center has to expand the horizons of young people as they consider careers. Knowing that there is such a broadcasting center right in the heart of Newark can make them aware of opportunities they didn’t know existed, encourage them to pursue careers in television and, I hope, exponentially expand diversity in the TV production industry.”

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A performance of “Into the Woods” at NJPAC

NJPAC has built an industry reputation with networks, including Home Box Office, Comedy Central, BET, PBS and NJTV. Airings in the current season include John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown (HBO), Artie Lange’s The Stench of Failure (Comedy Central), and the American Songbook at NJPAC (WNET/NJTV). This new technology also leveraged the return of NBC's America's Got Talent, and Black Entertainment Television's Black Girls Rock, both taping programs in March.

By embracing initiatives such as network and cable television broadcasts, commercial shoots, corporate events using new media and distance learning, NJPAC has the flexibility to move programming beyond its four walls directly into theaters, classrooms and living rooms. Implementation of Panasonic's technology solutions now gives NJPAC the ability to stream more content by broadcasting across multiple platforms.

NJPAC clients will notice significant cost savings and increased efficiencies across all areas of broadcast production, including reduction in load-in and load-out days, minimizing the use of temporary cables, supplying portable broadcast “flypacks” instead of equipment rentals, and providing greater availability to in-house broadcast cameras and interfaces.

“Gaining insight behind NJPAC’s decision to reshape their business model gave Panasonic engineers the chance to design a customized technology solution that exceeded NJPAC’s initial request,” said Jim Doyle, president of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company. “Panasonic’s expertise in grasping underlying customer needs ensured that NJPAC received what it needed to stand out among the world’s performing arts centers and enhance its attraction as a global destination venue.”

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NJPAC’s flypacks

NJPAC has created an immersive experience for onsite audiences with more state-of-the-art cameras and installation of HD throughout its existing cable system, resulting in higher-quality lobby projection and enhanced simulcast capabilities. Increasing its technical and broadcast production capabilities allows NJPAC to broaden its appeal, carving out new marketing and business opportunities falling outside the norm of traditional operating uses for a performing arts center.

“It’s about using technology to extend our market reach and deliver more programs to people, wherever they are, whatever their device,” said David Rodriguez, executive vice president and executive producer at NJPAC. “Panasonic’s technologies, total refurbishment of NJPAC’s broadcast infrastructure and owning the finest projection systems on the market permits NJPAC to give producers and directors the tools they need to perform their jobs at the highest possible levels.”