Tag Archives: video control center

Broadcast Pix Part of New Video Call Center Solution for New Genre of Production Workflow

Billerica, Massachusetts –  Broadcast Pix™ announced today that its integrated production switchers are being used with the new Video Call Center (VCC) automated production solution to bring the caller-based talk radio show format to television. By utilizing Broadcast Pix’s application programming interface (API) and file-based macros, the VCC system essentially creates a video-driven version of talk radio using Web-based video sources.

Inventor Tom Wolzien company received a patent for VCC on July 1. A 45-year television veteran, Wolzien serves as a consultant for large media organizations through his company, Wolzien LCC, and is the lead independent director for VCC Broadcast Pix Switcher UseTiVo, Inc. Since last year, Wolzien and his team have been testing the VCC system by producing TalkCenterAmerica®, a series of call-in shows covering a variety of topics.

“VCC is right at the intersection of social and mass media, TV and the Web,” said Wolzien. “What’s unique is that the system doesn’t just handle a single IP video call, but it’s designed to handle multiple video calls simultaneously, each with the power of its own computer – essential for any live caller-based TV program.”

With VCC, the on-camera host produces the call-in show without a traditional control room. Broadcast Pix API and Fluent™ Macros allow the VCC software to provide the host with a great deal of production flexibility, such as triggering sequences of individual key/shot combinations that can be modified based on available callers. As a result, with no content costs for callers and minimal staffing requirements, VCC is a cost effective approach to producing live programming.

Using Skype and similar technologies on various devices, multiple Web video callers can connect to the show. Viewers can see the callers and whatever the callers want to show. Proprietary CAT™ Caller Acquisition Software assists screeners with incoming calls, audio metering, video cropping and conversion, and return video. Plus, a patented Text Overlay superimposes caller names and locations over the caller’s picture at the screener’s position and remains on-screen when the caller is added to the live production.

“The innovative technical team at Broadcast Pix has been supportive every step of the way as we implemented the Video Call Center,” said Wolzien. “As an inventor, I have appreciated their readiness to help us solve the challenges of integrating the complex aspects of television automation in a way that appears simple to the host who solely controls the air. And on the technical side, I have appreciated their rapid and creative support when we have run into problems.”

“Video Call Center utilizes today’s Web-based video technologies to adapt the caller-based talk radio format for TV,” said Steve Ellis, CEO of Broadcast Pix. “It’s truly an innovative way to produce high quality programming with minimal staff, and Broadcast Pix is proud to be part of the process.”

About Broadcast Pix Founded in 2002, Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated production switchers, with customers in more than 110 countries. Available in several configurations, from compact systems with end-to-end integration to large-scale systems for high-end live productions, Broadcast Pix switchers include CG, dual clip stores, file-based macros, external control software, and customizable multi-view and virtual sets with patented control options. Broadcast Pix also offers ReVue next generation slow motion systems, fX3D real-time 3D graphics, Rapid CG dynamic graphic playout software, and VOX voice-automated live video production, each designed to enhance our highly integrated live production switchers. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, government, religious, sports, streaming, and visual radio studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix and Fluent are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

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Webster City High School Launches Live Sports Coverage with Broadcast Pix Video Control Center

Billerica, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ today announced Webster City High School in Webster City, Iowa, is using a Granite™ 1000 Video Control Center™ to produce live coverage of its varsity athletics from its new competition gymnasium. The school covered all six of its home girls volleyball matches in late 2012, and is currently shooting home boys and girls basketball and wrestling contests.

Live sports coverage is a new challenge for student video production at the school, which has been focused primarily on a Webster City High School Granite 1000 JPEGweekly newscast. Now in its 14th year, WCTV is a 10-15 minute newscast produced by students that is distributed on an internal cable system and a local community access channel, as well as iTunes and other Internet sites.

When it came time to replace the program’s GlobeCaster switcher and other core SD production equipment, Webster City decided to make the transition to full HD production. Then, according to Mark Murphy, director of technology, Webster City Community Schools, officials decided to expand the video production program by integrating video cameras into the new gym, providing students with the opportunity to produce live sports coverage.

The first phase of the process included the purchase of the Granite system, three Canon HD studio cameras, and other equipment for the 2010 school year, which was purchased from and integrated by Alpha Video in Edina, Minn. The second phase added cameras to the gym and connected the control room to the new facility via fiber in time for the 2012 volleyball season. Murphy said the system will also be used to produce commencement, concert, and special event coverage as well.

Anchored by the Granite, the control room is about 1,100 feet away from the gym, located next to the school’s 400-square-foot studio. The gym is equipped with three ceiling-mounted Panasonic HD cameras and four wall-mounted cameras. All cameras are controlled robotically by students in the control room. The permanently installed cameras and fiber infrastructure that connects to gym to the control room saves hours of setup and strike time for every event, Murphy noted.

Students really like the Granite system, particularly the PixButtons, which include built-in displays to show the device icon and file name of a clip or graphic. “It’s very easy for them to know what source they’re on and where they’re going,” Murphy explained. “It really makes it easy for them to operate.”

Webster City uses a number of the built-in Fluent™ workflow tools, and recently began using Fluent Macros for its wrestling coverage. During some tournaments, there is action on three mats simultaneously. With a camera covering each mat, a macro creates a split screen to provide footage from each match.

Fluent Rapid CG™ 2, an option for Granite and Mica™ Video Control Centers that supports Daktronics scoreboards, automatically integrates databases and custom actions like scorekeeping into templates to streamline the creation of data-intensive graphics. Webster City uses Fluent Rapid CG 2 with a Daktronics All Sport CG to provide real-time score data during its live coverage. “It’s working great for us,” said Murphy. “The data feed can update the same data element on multiple screens. We really like that option.”

With live coverage of several sporting events and dozens of newscasts already completed, Murphy is very pleased with the Granite system. “It’s really helped our production workflow become smoother,” he said. “Technically, the quality is better – and the convenience of an all-in-one package is really a great thing.”

About Broadcast Pix The leader in live video production systems with end-to-end integration, Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and has customers in more than 110 countries. Its Video Control Centers™ combine an integrated switcher, clip server, CG, and external control software with patented control panels, unique touch-screens, and exceptional displays. Systems range from compact systems controlled by touch-screen or voice automation to large sophisticated control panels. Customers include leading broadcast, streaming, sports, corporate, education, religious, and government studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Fluent, Fluent Rapid CG, Granite, Mica, and Video Control Centers are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

Broadcast Pix Ships Version 3.2 Software

Upgrade Enhances Camera Control, Clip Server, Switcher and More

Billerica, Massachusetts  – Broadcast Pix™ today began shipping its Video Control Center™ 3.2 software, a free upgrade that improves its Granite™ and Mica™ integrated live video production systems. Camera control enhancements include thumbnail displays of each preset position, as well as auto-follow of camera switching and enhanced macro Version 3 2 Thumbnails JPEGintegration. The built-in clip server now supports native Avid DNxHD clips and multi-definition ProRes and H.264 clips, while the six-channel graphic store adds frame capture. Plus, custom monitor layouts and macros can now be tied to each show, and a new option turns any Granite 2000 system into a 2 M/E switcher.

“Today’s announcement enhances our leading end-to-end integration,” said Ken Swanton, Broadcast Pix CEO. “Reaching out and controlling cameras with the kind of integration in Version 3.2 really sets Broadcast Pix apart. Plus our enhanced clip, graphic, and switching systems provides a level of integration that enables a small crew to create amazing video.”

The new camera control software displays a thumbnail of each camera preset position, rather than just the number of each preset, on the system’s Fluent-View enhanced multi-view display. The visual reference helps an operator quickly select the desired camera position. Plus, with new camera follow, each camera’s preset choices appear automatically when that camera is previewed on the switcher. Thumbnails can be created for 100 preset positions on each of up to 12 Panasonic robotic cameras, as well as 16 preset positions on each of up to 12 Sony robotic cameras.

Camera control is now tightly integrated with Fluent™ Macros, a unique macro system that allows switching, file recalls, effects, and camera moves to be recalled with one button push. Additional camera control enhancements include finer manual control of pan, tilt, and zoom to allow very slow zooms for long-range camera shots, plus support for Panasonic cameras installed using IP cabling instead of serial, which greatly simplifies wiring.

“The new features will definitely benefit our use of robotic cameras,” said Dennis Bergeron, station manager for Holliston Cable Access, Inc., in Holliston, Mass. “Broadcast Pix has significantly improved our production of in-studio shows. Fluent Macros and built-in graphics, clip stores, and animations have allowed us to improve the professional look of our productions. The number of enhancements that come out with every software release is impressive, and I look forward to every release to see what has been added or improved.”

DNxHD, the native Avid 1080i or 720p file format, is the third clip format supported by Fluent Clip Server in every Granite and Mica system. Using Fluent Watch-Folders, 1080i DNxHD clips can flow into Broadcast Pix systems over a TCP/IP network directly from Avid editing stations, even in the middle of a live production. V3.2 also delivers expanded options for ProRes and H.264 formats, adding 720p and SD to existing support for 1080i files.

Originally offered as a 1 M/E panel, the Granite 2000 can now be upgraded to be used as a 2 M/E panel, providing a low-cost system with a small footprint and full 2 M/E functionality. The $1,900 option activates four buttons on the control panel that enable its entire M/E bank to shift to M/E 2, and adds buttons for transitions between M/Es. V3.2 also allows operators to use two control panels simultaneously (1 M/E per panel). For example, one operator can control a live television broadcast while a second operator switches an Internet-based stream, or two panels can control two screens at a live event.

The new Show Link feature allows each show to save and recall its own Fluent-View monitor layout and Fluent Macros. This allows different programs or operators to customize their productions to match their resources, removing unnecessary elements from the Fluent-View layout, resizing and repositioning elements on the screen, and having a list of show-specific Fluent Macros at the ready.

The V3.2 software upgrade is the third software upgrade since 2012; earlier enhancements have added optimized touch-screen controls, integrated virtual set software, multi-screen support for 1 M/E systems, scoreboard integration, multi-lingual user interface, and optional voice-automated video production.

About Broadcast Pix The leader in live video production systems with end-to-end integration, Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and has customers in more than 110 countries. Its Video Control Centers™ combine an integrated switcher, clip server, CG, and external control software with patented control panels, unique touch-screens, and exceptional displays. Systems range from compact systems controlled by touch-screen or voice automation to large sophisticated control panels. Customers include leading broadcast, streaming, sports, corporate, education, religious, and government studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Fluent, Granite, Mica, and Video Control Centers are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

The Cove Church Upgrades to HD Production with Broadcast Pix Granite 5000 Video Control Center

Billerica, Massachusetts  – Broadcast Pix™ today announced that The Cove Church in Mooresville, N.C., is using a Granite™ 5000 2 M/E Video Control Center™ to produce image magnification (I-MAG) for its congregation during services, as well as simultaneously stream its services live on the Web and share the live video feed with three campuses across the state. The church began using its new system in mid-October.

Cove Church Granite 5000 JPEG (3)Attendance at the main campus in Mooresville, a suburb of Charlotte, averages 3,800 over its four weekend services, with another 900 attendees spread across its North Carolina campuses in Newton, Statesville, and Cornelius. When the church’s aging SD video system needed to be replaced, church officials decided to transition to a full HD production workflow. “We wanted to give our campuses the absolute best quality image,” said Greg Antisdel, director of production.

The Cove Church purchased its Granite 5000 from ClarkPowell in Charlotte, N.C., but designed and installed its own HD infrastructure. The upgraded control room is housed backstage in a room large enough to accommodate up to eight volunteer production team members. Antisdel said the video production team gives people the opportunity to serve the church and help share its message.

Using Granite’s 2 M/E capabilities, the church produces two very different productions. The I-MAG production is designed for the local audience, while the Web/satellite campus version resembles a broadcast production, complete with an announcer, wider shots of the service, and shots from a camera on a jib. “Our goal is not to be a TV production,” Antisdel explained, “but to help you ‘feel’ the venue and feel like you’re part of what’s going on.”

The Fluent™ Clip Store is used for a countdown video before services and a message intro, as well as “life story” videos that are sometimes integrated into services. Antisdel said Fluent Macros were designed for some tasks, so a volunteer TD – who operates the system maybe once a month – does not need to be particularly skilled at switching to get professional results. Fluent-View, the built-in, customizable multi-viewer, populates all sources on two Sharp 70-inch LEDs in the control room.

The built-in Fluent workflow tools, as well as its overall cost effectiveness, made Granite the ideal choice for the Cove Church. “I looked at other switchers, and I still kept coming back to Broadcast Pix. I like the platform,” Antisdel said.

About Broadcast Pix The leader in live video production systems, Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and has customers in more than 110 countries. Its Video Control Centers™ combine an integrated switcher, clip server, CG, and device control software with patented control panels, unique touch-screens, and exceptional displays that enable operators to create with confidence. That confidence is further enhanced with rock-solid stability, patented technologies to maintain lip sync, and great technical support. Systems range from compact systems controlled by touch-screen or voice automation to sophisticated 2 M/E control panels. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, religious, government, webcast, entertainment and mobile studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Fluent, Granite, and Video Control Centers are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

Broadcast Pix Simplifies Multi-Camera Production for Finland’s Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos

Billerica, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ today announced the Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos in Inari, Finland, is using a Granite™ 1000 Video Control Center™ for live event production. Built to preserve and develop Sámi culture and business, the modern facility was completed in January and has hosted a variety of events, including seminars, workshops, and concerts.

“Granite is a good solution because of the powerful features and because it is a cost effective HD video control system,” said Sajos Sami Cultural Centre JPEGMikko Juntunen, systems specialist, production and post, for Mediatrade in Helsinki, Finland, the systems integrator that installed the system. “The integrated switcher and clip server – and options such as Panasonic camera control – were also important issues in planning the system integration.”

Sajos offers several venues for events, from small and medium-sized conference rooms to a main hall that can accommodate up to 430 people. Multi-camera productions have been streamed on the Internet, recorded for event organizers, distributed on the facility’s internal television channel, and used to provide I-MAG (image magnification) for live audiences. Juntunen said the facility uses a variety of Granite’s built-in workflow tools, including the Fluent™ Clip Store, Harris Inscriber CG, customizable Fluent-View multi-viewer, and chromakey. Granite may also be used as the clip server for all screenings during Skabmagovat 2013, an upcoming film festival, according to Juntenen.

“Granite is an all-in-one package,” said Joonas Saari of the Sajos Centre. “It has made the multi-camera tasks, such as live streaming and video projection projects possible.”

About Broadcast Pix The leader in live video production systems, Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and has customers in more than 110 countries. Its Video Control Centers™ combine an integrated switcher, clip server, CG, and device control software with patented control panels, unique touch-screens, and exceptional displays that enable operators to create with confidence. That confidence is further enhanced with rock-solid stability, patented technologies to maintain lip sync, and great technical support. Systems range from compact systems controlled by touch-screen or voice automation to sophisticated 2 M/E control panels. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, religious, government, webcast, entertainment and mobile studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Fluent, Granite, and Video Control Centers are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

Feature Productions Delivers MMA Coverage with Broadcast Pix

Billerica, Massachusetts  – Broadcast Pix™ today announced that Feature Productions, a live production company based in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, is using Broadcast Pix Slate™ 1000 Video Control Centers™ as part of two portable production flypacks for live coverage of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) matches and other events. The company had been renting a Slate-equipped flypack since 2009, but began using its own flypack in late May.

Feature Productions 12 5 12 Slate 1000 JPEGIn southern Alberta, Feature Productions has gained a reputation for MMA video production and now works with four different MMA affiliations. According to co-owner Chris Cooke, the company was originally hired to provide image magnification (I-MAG) – featuring live coverage, instant replays, graphics, and commercials – to on-site audiences. However, event promoters took notice of the HD productions and began offering them to broadcasters. Some matches are also streamed to GoFightLive, an online pay-per-view service.

Although Cooke and co-owner Steve Prankard designed and built the first flypack three years ago, pairing the Slate with Sony cameras and a Yamaha audio board, the system was purchased through an investor. Earlier this year, Feature Productions purchased the new flypack, which is also anchored by a Slate but features JVC cameras and some logistical improvements. “We did our research and we decided Broadcast Pix was the best for us,” said Cooke.

Important selling points were Slate’s built-in clip store, CG, multi-viewer, and other Fluent™ workflow tools, which improve production efficiencies and minimize additional components in the flypacks. For example, Cooke rarely uses a USB stick to transfer files. Instead, he relies on Fluent Watch-Folders, which allow him to insert commercials and other elements into a program over the network, even in the middle of a live production. “That’s a great aspect of the Broadcast Pix,” he explained. “It’s a pretty quick process and it’s so easy during a show.”

Cooke estimated that 80 percent of the company’s business is live production. Beyond MMA, Feature Productions produces corporate events, conferences, and Western Major Baseball League (WMBL) coverage. Currently in the second year of a three-year contract, Feature Productions also handles video scoreboard productions for the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge. Home of the Western Hockey League (WHL) Lethbridge Hurricanes and host to a number of concerts and other events, the venue features a control room built around a Broadcast Pix Granite 2000.

“We’re comfortable with Broadcast Pix, and it has a very good track record with us. We’re very confident with its reliability,” Cooke said. “Our clients love the results, and that’s the true test.”

About Broadcast Pix The leader in live video production systems, Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and has customers in more than 110 countries. Its Video Control Centers™ combine an integrated switcher, clip server, CG, and device control software with patented control panels, unique touch-screens, and exceptional displays that enable operators to create with confidence. That confidence is further enhanced with rock-solid stability, patented technologies to maintain lip sync, and great technical support. Systems range from compact systems controlled by touch-screen or voice automation to sophisticated 2 M/E control panels. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, religious, government, webcast, entertainment and mobile studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Fluent, Slate, and Video Control Centers are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

Village of Niles To Begin Live Coverage of Council Meetings with Broadcast Pix System

Billerica, Massachusetts –  When the Village of Niles, Ill., built its Village Hall in the mid 1990’s, officials had no interest in recording or broadcasting its meetings. In the last few years, however, changes to the local political landscape prompted a new attitude – and the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department was tasked with retrofitting the council chambers and building a video production system from scratch. Now, the village is preparing to broadcast its first meeting with a system built around a Broadcast Pix™ Mica™ 2000 Video Production Center™.

The project had a number of challenges, including a limited budget and no dedicated staff in place to operate the system. The final solution needed to be powerful enough to create compelling coverage, yet simple enough to be operated by one person with minimal training.

“This had to be easy to operate and it had to be as consolidated as possible. The Mica is what made it all possible,” explained Bill Shaw, MIS director for the Village of Niles, which is north of Chicago and has a population near 30,000.

“It’s only because of the integration in the Mica,” added Steve Cusick, systems engineer. “It allows us to make a consistent on-air product, regardless of who is behind theswitcher and how much experience they have.”

Shaw and Cusick engineered and installed the system. In an effort to manage costs, every line item – from cables to cameras – was sent out to bid to more than three dozen vendors. In the end, 14 vendors provided various equipment for the project. While Shaw admitted it was a “very complicated” process, it was also the only way the village could afford a system that would meet their objectives.

While the village has been training on the system since late September, it will be used to broadcast its first meeting in December. Meetings will be available in HD for live streaming and video-on-demand on the village’s Web site, and will be broadcast live and rebroadcast in SD on the village’s PEG cable channel.

The large closet containing the audio rack for the Council Chambers in Village Hall was converted to serve as the control room. The council chambers are equipped with four Panasonic HD robotic cameras that are controlled through the Mica; a projector in chambers is another source that can be accessed through the switcher. Mica’s built-in Fluent-View provides customized multi-view monitoring over two LCD touch-screens in the control room, while the integrated Inscriber CG is used for titles and credits.

With Fluent™ Macros, production complexities have been programmed into user-friendly macros to automate meeting coverage as much as possible. As a result, Shaw said, village staff with minimal training can produce a quality broadcast. Cusick and Shaw have created macros to move and switch cameras, add graphics, trigger breaks, and even turn off the cameras after a meeting.

“We realized the only product out there that met our goals was Broadcast Pix. We designed the entire solution around the Mica,” said Cusick. “It’s easy to use, with built-in automation with macros and integrated camera control. It was really the right solution for us.”

About Broadcast Pix The leader in live video production systems, Broadcast Pix was founded in 2002 and has customers in more than 110 countries. Its Video Control Centers™ combine an integrated switcher, clip server, CG, and device control software with patented control panels, unique touch-screens, and exceptional displays that enable operators to create with confidence. That confidence is further enhanced with rock-solid stability, patented technologies to maintain lip sync, and great technical support. Systems range from compact systems controlled by touch-screen or voice automation to sophisticated 2 M/E control panels. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, religious, government, webcast, entertainment and mobile studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Mica, Fluent, and Video Control Centers are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.