Mountain Lake PBS Transitions to HD with Broadcast Pix Granite 5000

Plattsburgh, NY-based Mountain Lake PBS (WCFE) has installed a Broadcast Pix Granite 5000 live video production system as part of its transition to full HD production and distribution. Completed in March, the updated control room and studio produces a variety of local programs, including the weekly Mountain Lake Journal newsmagazine.

The PBS member station serves the Burlington-Plattsburgh market (DMA #95), which includes areas of Vermont, New York, and Quebec. Director of engineering Charlie Zarbo said the studio and control room upgrades were the final stage of the station’s HD migration, which began with master control in 2007. The Granite 5000, purchased through HB Communications, replaced an aging Grass Valley 200 switcher. The HD upgrade also included new Hitachi Z-HD5000 studio cameras, Clear-Com intercom system, and Yamaha DM2000VCM digital audio mixer.

Zarbo has been very pleased with the Granite 5000 and is a fan of its PixButtons, which dynamically display sources and file names.

“The control surface is nice, pretty intuitive. Whatever changes you make are reflected in the PixButtons, which is nice,” he said. “It’s got very good bang for the buck. Broadcast Pix does it all in one box at a very attractive price. We like it a lot.”

Beyond its 2 M/E switcher, Granite 5000 provides Mountain Lake PBS with a number of integrated Fluent workflow tools, including a clip store that is used regularly for productions. Although Granite includes a built-in Inscriber GS CG, Zarbo said the station produces its graphics with Adobe Photoshop, then easily transfers them to Granite via Fluent Watch-Folders.

Mountain Lake PBS replaced its CRT monitor wall with two 50-inch LCDs, which are fed by Granite’s built-in Fluent-View, providing a complete display for the technical director and producer. The control room also has smaller monitors for dedicated CG and audio use that are also fed by Fluent-View.

Zarbo said Fluent-View is very easy to arrange, so every TD tends to
create their own on-screen look.

“It’s very flexible,” he explained. “You can create a layout, save it, and recall it for a specific shoot.”