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Brookline Access Television Selects Broadcast Pix Slate 5000s for New Facility’s HD Control Rooms


Brookline Access Television executive director Peter Zawadzki shows off one of the organization’s two new Broadcast Pix Slate 5000 live production systems, which are installed in identical HD control rooms.

Billerica, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ today announced that Brookline Access Television (BATV), a nonprofit organization that operates two public access channels in Brookline, Mass., has installed two Slate™ 5000 live production systems in its new 10,000-square-foot production facility. BATV celebrated the grand opening of its new home in late March, though it has been using the new Slate 5000s since its soft launch in January.

As the executive director of BATV, Peter Zawadzki is on a mission to change the perception of public access television. Between its two channels, BATV is committed to providing a wide range of programming, including documentaries, studio-based talk shows, and coverage of local government meetings. “Public access is a valuable asset to the community and an important First Amendment resource,? he said. “We like to think our new facility is one of the most technologically advanced community multimedia centers in the country.?
A significant upgrade from BATV’s previous home, a 2,000-square-foot temporary facility with only four edit stations, the new space features two HD studios with Sony PMW-EX3 cameras and Kino Flo lighting instruments. Two identical HD control rooms are anchored by the Slate 5000 systems and Yamaha 01V96 digital audio mixers, which are controlled through the Slates. Each studio includes a robotic camera that can be controlled through the Slates as well.

The two control rooms are interconnected, so if BATV has an extremely large production that requires the use of both studios, one control room can handle the production. The control rooms are also wired to control robotic cameras in the auditorium of nearby Brookline High School, which houses the meetings for the town’s legislative arm of government.

BATV takes full advantage of Slate’s Fluent™ workflow tools, including the built-in Inscriber CG and clip and graphics stores. Several shows use virtual backgrounds, so Slate’s built-in chromakey also gets regular use. “For these shows, we often use Fluent Macros to create presets that automatically change the virtual set to correspond with the different cameras,? Zawadzki said. “In some situations, we can almost direct an entire program just using macros.?

Instead of a monitor wall, Fluent Multi-View feeds input sources to one 52-inch Sony LCD monitor in each control room. And Fluent Watch-Folders, which allows content to be sent over a TCP/IP network from edit stations to the Slate for immediate access, also gets utilized. “We don’t use it much for simple productions,? Zawadzki noted, “but it’s invaluable when we have to add graphics at the last minute, such as during election coverage.?

In an effort to avoid control rooms that look like a hodgepodge of equipment racks, the new Slate 5000 control panels are recessed into custom consoles manufactured by TBC Consoles. “In public access, particularly with volunteer crews, you can have a room full of help or a one-man operation,? said Zawadzki. “Our consoles are designed to allow one TD easy access to the equipment needed to run an entire production – but they are also roomy enough to accommodate a full crew when necessary.?

BATV also supports 45 Apple Final Cut Pro edit stations, including 16 in both of its computer learning labs, all of which are connected to a 40 TB EditShare shared storage server system. Zawadzki handled the broadcast equipment integration, while HB Communications in New Haven, Conn., provided the AV integration for the classrooms and other areas in the building.

Although its stations are broadcast in SD by its local Comcast and RCN cable systems, BATV produces its programming in HD and letterboxes its programming for air. With its Broadcast Pix systems in place, BATV is prepared if an HD opportunity becomes available on either systems. Plus, Zawadzki said BATV will launch HD video on its Web site later this year.

Beyond its new facility, BATV also maintains a Broadcast Pix Slate 3000 system at Brookline Town Hall for its coverage of meetings. “Broadcast Pix is a great decision for any public access or small to mid-market facility,? said Zawadzki. “You really do get so much product for the money. Their systems can handle an extremely complicated productions, but are also easy enough to use for simple directing. For our students and volunteers, the Slate 5000 lets them grow at their own pace into more advanced productions.?

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Granite native HD and Slate hybrid HD/SD/analog systems create compelling live video. They run unique Fluent file-based workflow software that streamlines production and improves functionality. With its integrated switcher, multi-view, CG, clip and graphic stores, and aspect and format conversion, Granite and Slate are a fraction of the cost of a legacy control room to buy, staff and operate. They are future-proof, as they can upgrade to 3Gbps 1080p. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, podcast, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in more than 70 countries. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

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

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