ABS to use Broadcast Pix Slate 2 Mix/Effect System

Advanced Broadcast
Solutions, a Seattle-based systems integration firm, is taking delivery of a Slate 2 M/E (Mix/Effect System) live integrated
production system.
The new switcher was delivered and installed on ABS’s multiformat
HD mobile production unit in June 2008, as the first of six Slate 5000
switchers that Broadcast Pix delivered in June.
ABS previously placed an
order for a Slate 3016 1/ME switcher, which Broadcast Pix also installed on the
new ABS truck. Until now, the Slate 3016 switcher had been the
centerpiece of the multiformat mobile unit, which hit the road in mid-May
2008. On May 17, 2008, the ABS truck was used by KHQ-DT, in Spokane, WA, to produce
its first live HDTV telecast“The Lilac Parade;” and on May 31, 2008, it was
used by KGW-DT, in Portland,
OR, to produce “The Starlight
Parade,” also broadcast live in HDTV.
In terms of ABS’s
configuration, the Slate 3016 and Slate 5016 serve two different control panels
driving the same switcher processor engine. ABS intends to have both
control panels networked to the Slate switcher processor, giving customers the
option of using either the 1/ME or 2/ME control panel, or both concurrently if
desired.
“While the Slate 3016
control panel with 1 M/E is ideal for smaller productions, having the larger
2/ME Slate 5016 control panel available opens the door to bigger productions
that expect to see a large, traditional 2/ME switcher with all the bells and
whistles,” said Mark Siegel, president of ABS.
“We actually designed and
built our mobile unit around the Broadcast Pix Slate switcher because of its
obvious price/performance. Because of next-generation architecture, all
the Slate switchers pack a tremendous amount of power and functionality within
a very compact, integrated switcher for a fraction the cost of competing
switchers,” Siegel continued. The Slate 5000 series HD/SD switchers start
at approximately $45,000 but offers functionality comparable to switchers in
the $250,000 range and beyond.
The Slate 5000 series, allow a single operator to run all aspects of a sophisticated 2
M/E live HDTV production, including the switcher’s built-in Inscriber graphics
system, animations, clips and effects, logo generators, and aspect ratio
converters, as well as robotic cameras and audio mixers.
“Both the Slate 3000 and
5000 series switchers access and control almost the same functionality
inherently built into the switcher. But because the Slate 3000 has a
smaller 1 M/E control panel, the operator can’t access all the features and
capabilities quite as easily as can be done on the 2 M/E Slate 5000, making it
ideal for smaller, simpler productions,” said Ken Swanton, president of
Broadcast Pix.
“With its larger control
surface, the Slate 5000 has twice as many buttons and controls laid out for
fast, easy access, including a second bank of controls for the additional M/E
(mix/effect system). This provides operation comparable to the industry’s
larger, higher-end switchers, so operators can quickly set up more complicated
keying, layering, and effects for a more dynamic, compelling live show,”
Swanton added. “And unlike any conventional switcher panels, the Slate 1
M/E panel has a device control bank for graphics, clips and other parts of the
integrated studio, while the new Slate 2 M/E panel has two of these innovative
device control banks.
The ABS truck, which is a
24-foot mobile unit, was designed specifically to support the needs of
broadcasters in the Pacific Northwest;
however, the truck’s market also extends to production companies, houses of
worship, and theatrical and musical events. With the ability to take in
and output virtually any video signal, the truck is outfitted with the latest
gear including: three Thomson LDK-4000 Triax HD cameras with 14-bit A/D
conversion and 22-bit processing; a Roland RSS M-400 48-channel 18-bit digital
audio mixing console; and a fully configurable multi-viewer LCD monitor system.

“As a systems integrator,
I have found that more important than the Slate switchers’ low price
tag customers are especially pleased that a single operator can handle all
aspects of a live production, which helps hold the line on production personnel
and crews costs without compromising the quality of the live show,” Siegel
said. “Also, operators who have worked on 3.5/ME and 4/ME switchers in
large HDTV trucks are blown away by the capabilities and ergonomics of the
Broadcast Pix switcher.”