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Video Production Upgrade at Carver Arena, Part 2

Dec 13, 2011 2:35 PM

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

A complete video production upgrade at the Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill., had to be done in just one week, and the system has been up and running for hockey and basketball. Frank Blain, owner of Pro Video Productions, is going to tell us about how the Broadcast Pix Slate 3016, the cameras and the scoreboard work, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.
Frank, thanks for being back for part 2 on the SVC Podcast from the Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill., and a big video upgrade there where everything kind of went in all at once. New scoreboard, Broadcast Pix Slate 3016 live video production system, and we were talking in part 1 about all of that going in at the same time and about the long fiber-optic run you have to the scoreboard. One thing we didn’t get too much into is how things actually happen during a game. You obviously have a lot of instant replays, so how do you handle that during a game?

Well, the replay, the nice thing is the fact that we have at least two sponsorships to run. Every time we run a replay, for our hockey team, we run, “The goal is sponsored by,” and, “The replay is sponsored by,” and as the director switcher, it’s nice that I can, with the Fluent Macro, push one button, and then I can turn and talk to the replay person to guide them through what I really want out of the replay. If they’re going on the three-play replay, I may tell them which angle I thought was the best going in—so which camera to start the replay with. The switcher, in the meantime, is doing all my sponsorship work for me since, like one button, it does its thing, so I really concentrate upon the actual replay at that point in time. The replay sponsorship’s done, and I hit the fader bar and it dissolves to the replay, and I yell, “Roll it.” And then at the end of it, I hit home and my switcher goes to my live camera 1 and puts in my fox box and so scores back into the Internet and we’re all ready to go. We’re back in action. So I punched a whopping two buttons and pulled a fader once, and that’s all I did for the replay. [Timestamp: 2:34]

Well, that makes you look good.

Yeah, it’s nice. I have all the ESPN-style animated wipes while it’s all happening in the background as I’m basically relaxing. So it kind of made work a lot easier to the olden days when you would have a separate server and you would have to be clicking through the server and maybe selecting keys and pushing six buttons on a switcher to get stuff to happen, and here I’m pushing one and that runs the animations I’m running and presets the replay. So all I have to do is hit the one button and pull the fader bar to go to the replay. [Timestamp: 3:09]

And of course the cameras make a big difference and the camera operators on sports events where you’ve really got to keep up with things. What kind of cameras did you get on this?

We have three Sony HXC 100Ks. They are triax cameras [that are] very nice, and we have one Sony—really it’s just basically a security camera, which is a remote control camera. But it’s HD, has a 21X lens on it, so it’s pretty nice, and that’s on the scoreboard itself; and we talked about that in the first installment where it makes the fantastic crowd camera. [Timestamp: 3:44]

And the Sony cameras are easy on the operators, too.

Yeah, well, the fact that they’re triax, so we have nice remote controls for them, and the shader in the control room is controlling the camera. Of course it’s intercom and all is all included with this camera head so it’s a nice simple system. We usually for, like, basketball have two handheld cameras. They’re a very nice handheld cam, well-balanced and lightweight. [Timestamp: 4:13]

So how do you do audio on the games? What kinds of sources do you have for that?

Well, most of our audio sources, or actually our only real audio source is the Broadcast Pix switcher. Out of its two clip stores, it’s playing all of our clips, and then we have our really basic Allen & Heath Zed 10 soundboard. In the arena itself, we have our sound person who is actually writing the major levels and playing music and taking care of the wireless mics and all that sort of stuff. That’s a separate person and that’s a separate operation in our facility. [Timestamp: 4:50]

And you’ve got the Fluent Watch Folders as a feature on the Slate 3016. How do you use that?

Well, the Watch Folders are very, very handy in the Broadcast Pix. We actually have a couple animations that are built during the game, for our hockey games, where we do, I guess, the attendants and that sort of thing where it’s an animation we build off line and pop it into the Watch Folder in the middle of the game, as time permits, and boom, it’s in and it’s right in their sequence and ready to go when it’s ready. A pretty cool deal. [Timestamp: 5:25]

Yeah, really. For that stuff where you’ve got to keep up with a lot of fast action, you just can’t make it too easy to do.

No, and the Watch Folders really do help because pregame, we’re dropping in 20 new clips for a hockey game and then in the middle of the game there’s usually a couple of new ones that are dropped in the game. So to be able to do that as easily as we can and the clips show up in the same place in the server window on the touchpanel so that you can find it easily when it’s ready to go—you don’t have to go hunting. [Timestamp: 5:57]

How do you feed the Daktronics screens from the Slate 3016?

All the control devices for the Daktronics are in our control room. It’s about a 2ft. cable run SDI from the Broadcast Pix switcher to the Daktronic main control unit, and the Daktronic information’s all sent via fiber optic to the videoboard itself; so it’s all done directly in the control room. [Timestamp: 6:20]

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