| Jeremy Meserve (L), Bmc producer/director and Julie Land, volunteer crewmember, operate Belmont Media Center’s new remote HD production system.|
BELMONT, MASS.—Belmont Media Center is a nonprofit PEG station that provides public, education and government programming on three channels for Belmont and surrounding communities. Our programming is available for Comcast and Verizon subscribers,and can also be accessed online. Our HD footage is downconverted to SD for Comcast and Verizon subscribers and our programs are streamed live and as VOD to the Internet.
HD REMOTE PRODUCTION PACKAGE
When we designed and constructed a new studio in 2009, the control room was configured around a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 production system. Last year, we needed to build a remote HD studio and went back to Broadcast Pix to have a look at their Mica integrated production system for this new application.
We were looking for the latest technology and a company that provided good support. Additionally, with our volunteer-based production crews, it was important to create a remote studio system that would be easy to use and not intimidating. After extensive research, we felt that Broadcast Pix was the best match for us, as its design and interface allow inexperienced people to learn the system really quickly and use it to deliver a very high-quality professional presentation. Although it was purchased primarily for local sports coverage, we also use Mica to cover school events, local government meetings and special events. One of the reasons we selected Mica was its ability to allow us to produce broadcast-quality sporting event coverage in real time. We’re always trying to improve the look of our programming and this was a big plus.
We worked with The Camera Co. in Norwood, Mass. to design and build the remote system, and it was used for the first time to produce a Thanksgiving football game. It was employed throughout the winter for sports and special events. Broadcast Pix’s Mica is at the core of our remote system, which is contained in two travel cases. The remote production package also includes an audio mixer, intercom system and three cameras. The programs produced are either recorded to DVD or ingested into a video server.
When we’re on location, we make use the Mica’s built-in Fluent workflow tools, including the Fluent-View customizable multiview. The Fluent clip store gives us access to B-roll footage, PSAs, sponsorships and more. And Fluent macros simplify multishot screen compositions, which is very useful for our sports coverage. There’s also a built-in Harris Inscriber GS character generator system, which allows our crews to add graphics live and reduce post-production editing requirements.
We’ve been using this new remote production package for several months now and the Mica has shown itself to be a really solid performer. We’re really happy with the performance and utility it provides.
Jeff Hansell is the executive director of BelmontMediaCenter. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org