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Matchpoint Studios Elects ATEM for First US Presidential Debate Transmitted Live to Web

The state of Florida is known for many things. The gulf state is the home of Disney World and Kennedy Space Center. The fourth most populous state in the US, Florida is also a popular destination for retirees. And who could forget oranges, the Everglades and the many world renowned golf courses and resorts that fall in between?

Though it's not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Mickey Mouse and Tropicana, Florida is also well known as a swing state. No single political candidate or party appears to be favored in this state, which makes securing Florida's 25 electoral votes highly uncertain. Having played a key role in the 2000 Presidential Election between George Bush and Al Gore, Florida quickly became a target for subsequent elections.

That's right; the Sunshine State may just have the power to make or break the success of a 2012 Presidential hopeful. And it was for that reason that Matchpoint Studios made it their mission to capture all of the action live from the very beginning.


Headquartered in Tampa, Matchpoint is recognized as a national, full service, state of the art production and post production corporation, offering a one stop shop for clients looking for powerful, tailored creative services and solutions. Not an ordinary studio by any stretch of the imagination, Matchpoint hosts one of the most talented and experienced creative teams in the industry. Their award winning directors, DP's, graphic artists, creatives, engineers and editors form a diverse team that has seen and done it all... up until recently.

On September 22, Matchpoint Studios successfully LiveStreamed 10 hours of live programming via the website to over 2,500 viewers. P5 Live! represented the biggest continuous live web broadcast of a Florida convention in history. The Straw Poll occurred as part of a three day national Presidency 5 (P5) event, sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida. Featuring more than 2,000 Republican delegates, the Straw Poll has historically served a significant role in predicting the eventual Republican nominee for the US Presidency.

Politics may not be a simple matter of black and white in the swing state, but when Matchpoint had to select the equipment necessary for their live web broadcast, the choice was clear as day. They went with Blackmagic Design's ATEM 1 M/E Switcher for the high profile project, basing their decision on the ease of use and high end production quality it offered.

JP Manterola, Director of Matchpoint Studios, was attracted to the ATEM Switcher's powerful broadcast level features, and pleasantly surprised by its compact design and affordable price. In more than 15 years' experience in production, he had never come across a product that came close to offering the ATEM 1 M/E Switcher's capabilities at such a competitive price point, and he was eager to put it to work on the P5 project.

Maxx Digital's Chief Video Engineer, Bob Zelin, secured a beta unit for his client at Matchpoint, and rigorously tested the switcher, a process that proved to be incredibly intuitive, to make sure they were properly prepared for the debate. The installation of the ATEM Software Control Panel took approximately ten seconds, and ran on a MacBook Pro, affording them maximum customization and portability. Amazed by their joint performance from the get go, and by their own ability to get started right away, Zelin and Manterola knew they had made the right choice for the revolutionary task that laid before them.

For P5, Manterola and his 30+ member crew used the ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher with eight HD (1080i) cameras on a television set they built themselves to air delegate and VIP Q&A sessions along with coverage of the event. They loved having eight discreet inputs-one analog component HD or HDMI, three HDMI, and four HD-SDI-and with Blackmagic Design's HD-SDI to HDMI converters, made use of every single one. An additional perk was never having to worry about genlock, because all inputs to the switcher had frame synchronizers and locked up instantly.

For the main event, the ATEM Switcher was used to LiveStream the 10 hour production, locally and worldwide, via the Internet. ATEM's built in MultiViewer let Manterola view all camera sources and programming on a single monitor. The display could be reconfigured to his liking, and he was able to quickly name all crosspoints, making it easy to show which camera was looking at what.

Matchpoint Studios has been increasingly impressed with the small size yet huge capabilities of the ATEM 1 M/E Switcher, and Zelin praised its simple and compact design, calling it "friendly, portable, and really easy to use." They are now using the tool on a variety of projects that have resulted from the P5 event.

Manterola continued, "The switcher performed flawlessly, and is a remarkable tool that offers everyone a chance to play at the major league level regardless of budget."  Having the ATEM Switcher on board for the P5 project saved Matchpoint thousands of dollars, as there had never before been anything like it to produce a quality, HD, live transmission. "The live web broadcast was a total success, and we concluded the transmission with a total of 2.23 million 'brand impressions' and 26,308 unique P5 Live! viewers. We also interviewed more than 81 people from local elected officials, to Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and 5 Presidential candidates," said Manterola.

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Related Keywords:Blackmagic, ATEM, Matchpoint Studio, live broadcast, web streaming, media production, video switcher


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