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Local Public Broadcast TV Updates Remote Capabilities, Part 2

Apr 9, 2012 5:05 PM, With Bennett Liles

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And I would think that the epicenter of the action is the Broadcast Pix Granite 500 switcher. It sounds like space was pretty tight for a switcher in that van.

It’s a Ford E350 van so it’s not a huge production truck. It’s just your average cargo van. We cram three people in there which is pretty tight. We could probably go four but then you would almost be sitting on each other’s laps. But it works pretty well. The Granite system we really liked. I knew about the Broadcast Pix for years we’d had another unit, the Slate system, for about six years now. The van was a long process. I have been thinking of building a van for years but until we had the funding and the opportunity to do so I have always been planning it in my head what we wanted and when Broadcast Pix came out with the Granite systems all the ideas I had in my head of how can I do it this way, how can I run this—it does everything we need for sports and one person can do it all if you had to. So the art director, if you—like for the…sports is a little harder because you got a lot of graphics and things but for other things like the speeches and the parades and all that one person can run all of it. You can run the director, you can be the engineer, you can be the graphics operator everything from one machine so you don’t really even need the whole truck full of people. You can do it all by yourself with the Broadcast Pix. [Timestamp: 8:54]

Yeah, not hard to be a one man band with that thing and I guess you were using the Slate 1000 for the city council meetings before so the switcher didn’t come as a totally new thing to you.

Yeah, everything the Slate was kind of limited on they have improved and far exceeded what I always wished it could do. The Slate was very advanced for what it was. You could run clips, you could do your own graphics, you could key in everything you want, you can audio follow on the mixer so you don’t have to worry about your audio—they are motorized faders and all that. During council meetings we’ll quite often take breaks and you have to fill that time in a live broadcast like a council meeting so on the new Slate systems they’ve made a lot of things to make that type of situation easier where you can run clips but your clips will auto transition or they will auto correct for the next video so you don’t have to time your video perfectly. You can just let it run and tell it to go and then they come back from their 10-15 minute breaks you can transition back into your show a lot of things that the Slate does now makes things super easy now. [Timestamp: 9:56]

And you’ve got your standard audio stuff in the van. What are your audio capabilities in there, pretty much the interview and taking PA feeds and things like that?

Yeah, pretty much. We also use a CobraNet which is new to me. I’ve never used a CobraNet system where you can transmit 16 audio ins and eight returns over a Ether—standard Ethernet cable so for our announcers, how we do our announcers for the games, we put a break out box right next to them and then we can plug in game audio you can take the feed from the house announcer if you would like and there will be two commentators who do the game play by play in color so we just run all these audio over one cable as opposed to having to run a separate audio line for each one of these people. We also run head phone returns so they can hear each other and hear the director from the truck all over this CobraNet system so it’s something you might have had to use ten audio lines, you do with one. And you can even send audio back which is great, you don’t have to run XLR’s and make sure you get them the right direction and all that. Its one cable, same thing, does everything. It’s all digital, it’s great. [Timestamp: 10:58]

Sure beats dragging a lot of copper around over your shoulder. So how do you handle editing? You were talking a little about that before.

We don’t edit much in the van. We do often bring just a laptop, an Apple laptop with FinalCut Pro since we do shoot everything in the JVC’s which are native FinalCut formats we can drag and drop things in the FinalCut output into MPEG and to get it into the switcher if we need to make the quick adjustment to a commercial or if we need to make a replay, that’s the one thing we’re limited on is replay right now but if we had to we could use the Apple Final Cut system and just drag and drop any video file directly into Granite and it just loads in there. There is no tedious process to get it inputted and loaded in. It’s just drag and drop and it shows up in your bin and you can play that video instantly. [Timestamp: 11: 44]

So have you got anything new coming up for the van?

The newest thing I am thinking of, we still are kind of limited—we have four cameras with graphics and clocks and things we would like to add more cameras just to give us more of that flexibility of sports and once we will be adding instant replay. That was one thing we lacked on this last season of football is that instant replay capability that will be added before the next season starts. One on my dreams is to have wireless cams which would be great so that our sideline guys don’t have to drag that cable. So only one cable now but if we could eliminate that cable with a microwave that would free up that camera guy—that still is a problem is running up and down that sideline when you’ve got 150-200 lb football players with big pads on. You’re still limited by that cable behind you. So if we could go wireless would be my dream and then that camera man could go about anywhere. [Timestamp: 12:36]

Of course, things are going to evolve technically and the hardware and everything as you use the van for different things. Thanks for taking time to tell us about how it’s coming along. Scott Brosious from Riverside Government TV in Riverside, Calif. It was great having you here.

All right, thanks a lot and if anyone would like to see our programming it’s available online at

OK, there it is.
Thanks for joining us for the SVC Podcast with Scott Brosious of Riverside Government TV. Show notes can be found on the website of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at Be back with us next time on the SVC Podcast.

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