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Thomson Reuters Uses Brick House Video’s Callisto Production Switcher To Cover The Chilean Miner Story


San Jose Mine, Chile (11 November 2010) – As the world watched, Thomson Reuters brought the plight and rescue of 33-trapped Chilean miners to audiences around the globe with the help of Brick House Video’s Callisto-RC Production Switcher. Thomson Reuters, the world’s largest international news agency, relied on Callisto’s mixed transmission ability every day from its arrival on October 2nd until October 13th as the last miner was lifted to safety from 2050 feet (625 metres) underground.

“Callisto survived my two-day journey comprised of multiple flights and ground transportation over rugged, unpaved roads,? said George Johnson, Technical Coordinator for Reuters. “It switched on perfectly when I arrived at the mine, and performed flawlessly on a generator as temperatures ranged from below zero to approximately 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).?

Callisto, a broadcast specification (SMPTE-259M) 270 Mbit video switcher with DSK/chroma keyer, can handle fully asynchronous (unlocked) inputs in a mixed signal format (SDI and analogue) environment.
The programme and preview outputs are available as both SDI and analogue composite with 10-bit processing throughout. There are two SDI auxiliary switched outputs for monitoring and routing, and switchers fitted with the composite input option also have a separate composite switched output.

Capable of operating in stand-alone mode or genlocked to an external reference, the switcher was hooked into Thomson Reuters’ transportable uplink and fitted into a mobile bus for the duration of the story. Operators were able to mix four local cameras – one wireless and three cabled, in NTSC SDI with the TVN pool available as back up.

Callisto’s ability to support either composite or SDI inputs, PAL or NTSC, and sync switching the output to line were pivotal features to Johnson. “It was extremely easy to set up for NTSC and the option of composite and SDI allowed us to plan things with ease,? he stated. “We had three inputs into the mixer; a cabled roof camera position, a cabled walk about camera, and a wireless walk about camera. Two feeds were SDI NTSC, and the wireless was composite NTSC.?

Added Johnson, “All of our Outside Broadcast and News Gathering is developed around multi camera switching on a Global basis. The Brick House unit allows us to cover any story in any format, anywhere. ?

Ease of operation was also important to Johnson, “I was able to carry out the on-site staff training within days and leave confident that they could operate it efficiently,? he explained. “They didn’t experience any problems at all, and can now happily move on to the next job and set it up by themselves.?

Reuters are no strangers to Brick House Video. “We have three Brick House Video mixers and the support is fantastic. Two of the units travel with our flyaway transportable earth stations to cover stories all over the world, and one is mounted in our European uplink vehicle that is used every day. Over the last five years we have only had one intermittent fault and that was repaired free of charge within a few days,? concluded Johnson.

About Brick House Video
Brick House Video designs and manufactures award-winning compact and cost-effective equipment for production and post-production. A full range of rack-mount and portable analogue and digital switchers is available to accommodate any application where space is at a premium. The Company also manufactures rate/standards and format conversion and time code logging equipment. For further information: www.brickhousevideo.com

# # #
Brick House Video contact: Julian Hiorns
+44 (0) 1962 777733 • sales@brickhousevideo.com

Press contact: Harriet Diener / Desert Moon Communications
1-845-512-8283 • harriet@desertmooncomm.com

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