Rochester Red Wings utilize Broadcast Pix Slate 2100

By Andrew Lippe

Minor league baseball may have ended but the Rochester Red Wings, the Triple A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins baseball team, are still flying high after a season working with a Broadcast Pix Slate 2100 switcher to improve the game experience on and off the baseball diamond. “We re-imagined some space in our existing press box,” says Jeff Coltoniak, Rochester Red Wings director of Game Day Production.

The Red Wings, who recently completed their 2007 season, have a cable broadcast deal with Time Warner Cable. During the 2007 campaign 28 games were carried on the local Time Warner Sports Network. For the 2008 season, Coltoniak says they expect to broadcast anywhere from 30 to 35 games all of which will be aired in SD.

To pull off an effective broadcast the Red Wings production crew, excluding on-air talent, is an estimated 10 to 12 people. The Red Wings use four Sony DXC-D55 cameras with Telemetrics camera control systems. The Broadcast Pix 2100 switcher was installed to control numerous camera feeds during home games.

“We built a television control room in our press box and installed the switcher there,” explains Coltoniak. The Red Wings are only producing the home games. Road games are picked up by the other team’s city. “When we air a game from Syracuse for example, it is the Syracuse Time Warner Network that is doing the production,” adds Coltoniak.

The Broadcast Pix Slate 2100 switcher saves space and operators. Its biggest asset is how much control one single operator can have over the production of a baseball game. Calling up graphics and clips, as well as camera switching, can be achieved by a single operator. Having Inscriber graphics built within the system became very useful. “A majority of the games are still not being broadcast, and we needed something that worked even when we had on our skeleton crew,” says Coltoniak.

The real goal of the installation was to make a better experience for all Red Wings fans, including those watching on TV and those sitting in the stands. Programs that pass through the switcher can also be passed to the television monitors in the concourse, all 34-suite areas and the scoreboard. Next year, the Red Wings will continue to provide more access for fans. They are planning more post game interviews as well as encoding more video for the team’s website.