BURLINGTON, Massachusetts (March 12, 2007) Watertown Community Access Center (WCAC), one of the largest public access facilities in the country, recently built a mobile production vehicle with Broadcast Pix´s Slate 100 system at its center. The Broadcast Pix Slate system is the industry´s first TV production platform to merge a switcher with a computer card. With this addition, WCAC became the first public access station to purchase Slate 100. The unit was purchased to produce live community events, such as town meetings and local high school sports competitions.
Peter Zawadzki, executive director for WCAC, said that he was held to close scrutiny by the private, non-profit organization during the selection process and only Broadcast Pix was able to combine function, ease of use and quality in a single unit for the right price. "I´m a huge fan of Broadcast Pix equipment. Other products are out there, but they just don´t fit into a public access budget," he said. "Broadcast Pix´ Slate 100 did everything we wanted and more for a price that guaranteed we were making a responsible choice for the subscribers in town."
WCAC has already enjoyed more than a year of successful productions with Broadcast Pix´s Studio 2000. Zawadzki says the positive experience with Studio 2000 and its compatibility to the Slate 100 factored into the decision to add the Slate 100 to the center´s existing equipment. Because the two systems work together, WCAC is able to take its studio productions out into the field if need be. The Broadcast Pix system´s compatibility also saved WCAC money because they were not forced to upgrade analog monitors and other existing equipment. WCAC has used Slate 100 side by side with its brand new digital and older analog components.
"The low-cost, feature-rich platform of Slate 100 makes it the obvious answer for studios like WCAC, who are interested in creating compelling, broadcast quality, live television" said Ken Swanton, Broadcast Pix president, "It simplifies production at a cost that works within limited budgets while maintaining quality and efficiency. Slate 100 adapts well to facilities of any size and allows for growth as their needs change."
WCAC depends on volunteers from the community, many who have no prior television production experience. The functionality and user-friendly set up of the Slate 100 saves valuable time while training volunteers. In many cases the volunteers are also rolling in video and creating graphics effects as well.
"When it came time to build the mobile production vehicle, we went with the Slate 100 so we wouldn´t have to worry about training people on completely different equipment," said Zawadzki. "I´ve done workshops in the past with a variety of switchers. Never has anyone picked up technical directing as fast as they do with the Broadcast Pix system. They come in blind and within an hour they are directing a show."
Slate 100 allows a single user to control an integrated switcher, graphics, clip stores and even cameras. Zawadzki says this feature increases productivity by saving WCAC time and money. "Slate 100 allows us to accomplish a lot more with a lot less staff. We don´t need to rely on a specific number of volunteers to show up for a production. When it comes to WCAC sports productions, the benefits of having a solo operator really stand out. There have been times when we´ve had a crew of two producing a game. In a legacy environment, that presents an enormous technical challenge. Since purchasing Slate 100, viewers can´t tell if we have a full crew or a skeleton."
The Slate 100´s simplicity in no way diminishes its ability to create good-looking productions. WCAC is planning to install a second Slate system into City Hall. This will allow one person to direct an entire municipal meeting using robotic cameras. "We can do that with unbelievable quality at an extremely entry-level price," says Zawadzki.
Slate 100 mixes up to eight live inputs with up to two clips and five channels of graphics from its included workstation. The live inputs support both timed and asynchronous inputs for a wide range of cameras, video tape recorders, DVD players, etc. WCAC has also successfully used laptop presentations with Slate 100.
Zawadzki says Slate 100 allows them to continue moving the quality of public access productions forward. WCAC´s showpiece facility has been toured by staff from public access centers across the United States. "We´re not limited by small budgets or reduced staff. Our Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher can be controlled remotely from our reception area if need be. Slate 100 lets us produce broadcast quality shows with minimal personnel at a fraction of the price. This is where public access is going in the future."
About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in live television production systems that are more powerful, easier to use, and far more cost effective than a traditional control room of individual components. Broadcast Pix Slate switchers enable a single operator or small team to create engaging live video. Broadcast Pix is the technology leader in the fusion of production switcher and computer technology, and is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices in California, North Carolina and Amsterdam. Customers include over 300 leading broadcast, cable, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious and government studios in 30 countries. For more information, go to http://www.broadcastpix.com. Broadcast Pix, Slate and AutoAspect are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patents pending.