Every night at 6:59 p.m., KitchenFish LLC, a video production company in West Columbia, S.C., has to be perfect for 59 seconds, as it is responsible for the nightly broadcast coverage of the South Carolina Education Lottery. The company emphasizes reliability in all its equipment purchases – so when it was time to upgrade its video switcher, the company once again turned to FOR-A Corporation of America for one of its HANABI video switchers.
“We aren’t the fanciest, most complicated show, but we must consistently deliver 365 days a year,” explained Hinde Garrison, owner of KitchenFish. “FOR-A’s quality, commitment, and service stand the test of time and performance.”
The new HVS-390HS video switcher was installed on April 14 and used for that evening’s production. It replaced a FOR-A HVS-350HS, which had been added almost a decade earlier as part of KitchenFish’s upgrade to HD production. Like the FOR-A analog switcher it replaced, the HVS-350HS was still working when it was removed – in fact, some of its optional I/O cards were transferred to the new switcher.
Located a few blocks from the state capitol, the KitchenFish studio hosts the nightly lottery drawings, and also supports live shots of state and local officials for national news outlets. The studio houses two robotic cameras and one manned camera. The wide shot from the manned camera shows the machine that randomizes the numbered balls as well as the person drawing the numbers. A close-up of the selected numbered ball from one of the robotic cameras is then keyed over the wide shot.
“They get two views simultaneously, so there’s no doubt,” explained Jim Simmons, chief engineer for KitchenFish. “You’ve got to be very forthright with the viewer, because everyone thinks they have the winning ticket. This is as straightforward as you can make it.”
Every lottery session can feature draws for up to four different games. During each draw, the CG operator types in the winning numbers, which are displayed on the screen. The broadcast also features a crawl at the bottom of the screen that shares lottery news and promotions.
“We need to show all these graphics and video inserts simultaneously, and the new FORA switcher gives us a lot of flexibility,” Simmons added. “Price made a difference, but reliability is the one thing that has to be foremost, because we don’t have a second chance. We have been on the money 365 days a year for 18 years. With that kind of track record, we want to be the ones that come through every time.”
“After anchoring their system for a decade with the HVS-350HS, it made perfect sense for KitchenFish to move up to the HVS-390HS, which is ideal for smaller broadcasting facilities,” said Adam Daniul, FOR-A director of midwest and south regional sales. “The HVS-390HS is a compact, versatile switcher with redundant power, two multi-viewer outputs, and multiple keyers and DVEs for creative flexibility.”
Inheriting the key technology of the discontinued HVS-390HS, the HVS-490 is designed for use in live environment venues where space is limited but production quality is critical. The HVS-490 includes MELite™ technology, eliminating the need for multiple switchers in a multi-monitor staging scenario, as well as FLEXaKEY™, which allows a traditional AUX bus to transform into a functional Mix Effects with cuts, mix, wipes, keys, and DVE including full preview. MELite extends the switcher’s 2 M/Es to 6 M/E performance, and is the building block for more easy-to-use features of the HVS-490, such as upstream and downstream transition effects.