Billerica, Massachusetts - When Xavier University (www.xavier.edu) faculty, students, and fans return to Cintas Center in Cincinnati for basketball and volleyball this fall, they will see a more polished presentation on the arena's new LED video screen, which is controlled through a new Broadcast Pix(TM) Slate(TM) 5000 video production system.
Chris Schaaf, Cintas Center senior assistant technical director for video production, said the facility had been trying to develop a digital upgrade path for years to replace an Echolab analog switcher that was installed when the 10,250-seat arena was originally opened in 2000. Several different production switchers were considered before the Slate 5000 was chosen.
"It just made sense," Schaaf explained. "As we demoed the Broadcast Pix, we were switching and building DVE boxes within 10 minutes. That's important, because students run all of our events. It's simple enough so students can come in and, after a little instruction, be on their way to switching a show."
On game days, a crew of about 14 students and three professional staff members handles the entire production, from operating spotlights and LED elements to pulling cables. The video presentation is managed by a three-person crew, including a technical director and audio engineer in the control room and a floor manager on the sideline. The TD uses the Slate to switch between three Hitachi triax cameras, two truck feeds (most games are produced for broadcast), an Apple Final Cut Pro system for in-game highlights, and two slow-motion feeds. Sponsored graphics are handled separately through an ANC VisionSOFT system, but the Slate's built-in Fluent(TM) software workflow tools simplify in-game graphics and clip playback.
Before integrating the Slate into its workflow, Cintas Center relied on DVDs and Final Cut Pro for media playback, which Schaaf said was not an ideal solution. Now, Fluent Clips and Fluent Graphics allows easy access to clips, player graphics, and more. "It just takes one more step out of the show," he said. "It streamlines the whole process."
The Fluent Multi-View was also a big selling point for Schaaf, who said the control room at Cintas Center has very limited space. The Slate's built-in multi-view not only provided a more modern look, but it was able to replace 17 monitors with one 46-inch LCD and two secondary 19-inch LCD monitors. Schaaf is also planning to use Fluent Macros to create broadcast-style replay wipes for the upcoming sports season.
Cintas Center is used for a variety of events beyond sports, including graduation ceremonies and concerts. Demolition on the old video screen and scoreboard system began in early June, and the new system, which was designed and integrated by in-house staff, was in place for its first event in mid-July. Schaaf said the new Slate is a vital part of the new system. "It's exactly what we wanted it to be," he added. "We've been very happy with our choice."
About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Granite native HD and Slate hybrid HD/SD/analog systems create compelling live video. They run unique Fluent file-based workflow software that streamlines production and improves functionality. With its integrated switcher, multi-view, CG, clip and graphic stores, and aspect and format conversion, Granite and Slate are a fraction of the cost of a legacy control room to buy, staff and operate. They are future-proof, as they can upgrade to 3Gbps 1080p. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, podcast, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in more than 70 countries. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.
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