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Bexel Dazzles PBS With Service For “A Capitol Fourth” 30th Anniversary Concert in Washington D.C.

Broadcaster Relied on Bexel for Equipment and Services at Popular 4th of July Concert in the Nation’s Capital
Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group’s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, rocked this past July 4th at PBS’s 30th Anniversary of its “A Capitol Fourth” concert spectacular, which took place in and around the Washington, D.C. area. With Bexel’s help, PBS captured the celebration from 18 TV cameras stationed around the city, bringing the action in the nation’s capital to viewers at home.

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America’s national Independence Day celebration marked 30 spectacular years on PBS with the most impressive display of fireworks seen anywhere in the nation. The anniversary broadcast was hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits and featured unsurpassed performances from some of the country’s biggest musical names.

Bexel has provided “A Capitol Fourth” cameras, lenses and fiber optic equipment, as well as support for the past five years. This year, Bexel introduced its new QBall Camera System to the equipment used to support the event.

Craig Schiller, vice president, Bexel, said, “The QBall Camera System is a high definition (HD) robotic camera, which enables the technical and production teams to place small HD cameras in locations near piano keys, drummers and the conductor. This system provides a new look and allows the operator to pan, tilt and zoom, as opposed to the basic locked-off HD cameras.”

In addition, Bexel also provided custom packaging to build up two Sony F800 Camcorders with Canon 86X lenses and Vinten Vector 900 Heads for two remote locations that captured wide and dramatic shots of the fireworks over the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Bexel configured the cameras with custom mounts for the remote control panels so that the operators could dial in the correct exposure during the fireworks spectacular.

Tad Scripter, the show’s producer, said, “Bexel has a long history of supporting this historic telecast. They have always been a constant which we can count on every year to supply exactly the hardware that is needed and to help the project move ahead by finding new and appropriate engineering tools. Bexel is a welcomed partner every year.”

Bexel also provided Telecast and Stratos Lightwave Fiber Optic equipment for various program and ISO feeds for producers, conductors and band locations, as well as infrastructure to send back the two QBall robotic HD cameras that were mounted in various positions around the orchestra, conductor and performers. Bexel had a Stratos tray at its truck, which covered the QBall Camera System, HD monitor feeds for producers, monitor feeds at the Grant Monument behind the stage where the marching and cannons took place and monitor feeds at the Capitol Steps, where the Marine Drum Corps played.

Location engineer Bill Eastham said, “All of the support and packaging for the remote cameras this year were outstanding, everyone noticed the attention to detail and the custom support Bexel provides.”

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