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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 the switcher 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.

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