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Idaho Public TV Selects Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 Digital Switchers For Live Coverage Of Idaho Senate And House Proceedings

Powerful Integrated Features Enable High-Quality Live Productions by a Single Operator (June 04, 2007)
DMN Newswire--2007-6-4--Broadcast Pix today announced that Idaho Public Television has selected two Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 integrated digital production switchers to produce its new ?Legislative Live service covering Idaho Senate and House proceedings. This ?C-Span-style, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Idaho State Legislature, which premiered on January 8, 2007, is distributed as a public service via several different media platforms including over-the-air broadcast, digital cable, the Web, mobile phones, and audio podcasts.   


The powerful, compact design of the Slate 1000 was a critical consideration since the production control room is located in a 15x9 foot ?closet in the basement of the Idaho State Capitol building. The affordable, HD-ready, Slate 1000 packs the same functionality found in a room full of broadcast equipment?such as character generation (CG); digital video effects (DVE); still store; and a digital production switcher?into an integrated unit that only requires a single person to operate.  


?Our live coverage of the State Legislature in action is done with very high production values, said Jeff Tucker, production manager for Idaho Public Television. ?Were able to produce this high-quality programming from the Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 systems and deliver the finished product to a variety of new and conventional media outlets. Our ?Legislative Live service rests entirely on the Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 switchers, which have proven their capabilities and reliability.


With identical configurations, both Slate 1000 systems are configured to accept SDI inputs from three Panasonic AW-E860A 2/3-inch 3-CCD SD cameras located in the House and Senate Chambers respectively. These cameras are equipped with Fujinon A20x8.6BMD 20x Professional Motor Drive Zoom lenses and Panasonic AW-PH36ON Indoor Pan-Tilt Systems. The cameras can be controlled via the Broadcast Pix camera control system, and their pictures displayed on the Slate 1000s integrated multi-view VGA monitors.


?The Slate 1000 is designed to enable a single individual to control every aspect of this polished, professional live show, which would otherwise have required a room full of equipment and a three-man crew, said Tucker. ?The Slate 1000 enables us to work within our severe space constraints and tight budget without making quality compromises. The control panel offers easy access to everything the operator needs?including the DVE, CG, Wipes, Keyers, chromakeyers, still store, plus camera switching. With integrated VGA monitoring, all of the camera signals can be displayed on a single monitor screen, instead of a bank of video monitors. This is much more ergonomic for us considering that we have essentially two production control rooms operating out of a closet, said Tucker.


While Idaho Public Television's station infrastructure has been upgraded for native 1080/60i HDTV production and broadcast, ?Legislative Live is broadcast in SDTV on two of the PBS stations DTV subsystems?digital multicast Channel 3 (Learn) and Channel 4 (Citizen), which carries public affairs programming. Idaho Public Televisions SDTV and HDTV programming is broadcast across the large state by five DTV transmitters as well as by CableOne and Time Warner on their digital cable tiers.


Anyone with an Internet connection can view the live coverage of the House or Senate proceedings at either 56k or 300k broadband at Cingular/AT&T ?Edge customers that have subscribed to the data service may access the same streaming media from any Windows Media 9.0-compliant cell phone or other mobile device. The Slate 1000 systems produce all of the content that feeds these various media platforms, and the SDI output is converted downstream by two Digital Rapids DRC 1400 Streaming cards and passed on for Web streaming. During the 2006 legislative session, Legislature Live Web streaming service had 17,508 visits, 23,993 views, and an average viewing time of 7:34.  


Since its January 2007 premiere, ?Legislative Live has been providing live coverage of the Legislative session running from January 1 through April 1. However, beginning April 1, the Idaho State Capitol building is scheduled to undergo extensive renovations and repairs through 2009. During this time, all of the activities that normally take place at the Capitol will be moved across the street to the old Ada County Courthouse across the street.


?Since this temporary location will not have enough room to accommodate the viewing galleries that are in the Capitols House and Senate Chambers, our live broadcasts during 2008 and 2009 will take on even greater importance. This is because our live broadcasts will be the only means that the public will have to watch the legislative process, as well as annual ?State of the State and ?State of the Budget addresses, said Tucker.  ?For this reason, the Slate 1000 systems were an especially good choice because they offer rock-solid operation.


About Broadcast Pix  Broadcast Pix provides the industrys only live video production switchers with a built-in character generator, clip store and full-motion monitoring. They are more powerful, easier to use, and much more cost effective than a traditional control room of individual components, yet retain a fast action human interface and robustness. Broadcast Pix switchers enable a single operator to create engaging live television that used to require a team, yet gracefully adds operators when desired.  They are also the only switchers that can be controlled remotely over the Internet.  Broadcast Pix is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices in California and Europe. Customers include leading broadcast, cable, corporate, education, entertainment, mobile, faith and government studios. For more information on Broadcast Pix, go to  Broadcast Pix and Slate are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc.  Patents pending.

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