Broadcast Pix today announced Belmont Media Center (BMC), a PEG station with three channels serving the town of Belmont, Mass., has improved its local sports coverage with a new remote HD studio anchored by a Broadcast Pix Mica 500 integrated production system.
When BMC moved into upgraded facilities in 2009, its new control room was built around a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 system. Last year, when it was time to build a remote HD studio, the nonprofit organization went back to Broadcast Pix. With volunteer-based production crews, it was important to create a remote system that would be easy, not intimidating, to operate.
We were looking for the latest technology and a company that had good support, said Jeff Hansell, executive director, BMC. After extensive research, we felt that Broadcast Pix was the best match for us. It provides the ability for inexperienced people to learn the system really quickly, and it delivers a very high quality presentation.
BMC is a PEG station that provides public, education, and government programming on three channels for Comcast and Verizon subscribers. Programming is also available online at www.belmontmedia.org. The station produces a great deal of government access programming, with regular coverage of four different commissions, as well as committee meetings and citizen forums. While HD footage is downconverted to SD for Comcast and Verizon subscribers, programs are streamed live and on demand to the Internet.
Purchased primarily for local sports coverage, the Mica is also used for school event coverage and some government meetings. The rationale was that we wanted broadcast-quality sports on the scene in real time, Hansell explained. Were always trying to improve the look of our programming.
BMC worked with The Camera Company in Massachusetts to design and build the remote system. It was used for the first time to produce a Thanksgiving football game, and was used throughout the winter for sports and special events. Built around the Mica, the remote system is housed in two cases and features a Shure mixer, Clear-Com intercom system, and three Sony cameras. Programs are recorded to DVD or ingested into a video server.
On location, BMC uses the Micas built-in Fluent workflow tools, including the Fluent-View customizable multi-view. Fluent Clip Store provides access to B-roll footage, PSAs, sponsorships, and interstitials, while Fluent Macros are used to simplify multi-shot screen compositions, particularly for sports coverage. Hansell said the built-in Harris Inscriber GS character generator is very important, because it allows the crew to add graphics live and reduce post-production.
After several months of remote productions, the Mica has been a solid performer for BMC. Hansell said, We are really happy with the performance of the Broadcast Pix.
Housed in a single 4 RU case, Mica includes a multi-definition switcher that can mix eight HD/SD-SDI inputs with seven channels of internal clips, animations, and graphics. There is support for up to six keyers and DVEs, six HD/SD-SDI outputs, and two DVI outputs. It includes the full complement of Fluent workflow tools, and can be controlled through a traditional control panel, keyboard and mouse, or touch-screen.